About That 0.397994999 Service Worker: Why Does ADP Goalseek Their "Data"?

Tyler Durden's picture

A funny thing was found when scouring through the provided ADP excel source data (excel link here) which is used to backfill into the jobs data: nothing less than proof that ADP is goalseeking their final payrolls number.

Exhibit A:

As can be seen in screenshot of the ADP excel sheet, cell J157, which is supposed to represent the 160K service workers added in January, is in reality 159.561397994999, or somehow ADP, which is supposed to be able to poll specific workers with granularity to the individual worker level, saw the added "benefit" of 159,561 round number workers, and an additional .397994999 worker. This amounts to about one arm and half a leg.

The same can be seen in the next door neighbor cell, which indicates that 15,832 "round number" goods workers were added, and then added an additional 0.756476997 worker, or roughly two legs and one arm.

What does this mean? Simple - instead of actually using definitive numbers, ADP is goalseeking the final result based on a predetermined final outcome it wants to hit, and then varies for the growth rate or the monthly addition variable.

Our question is: why does ADP do this if it has any hopes of being credible (when we already know is merely mimics the NFP data with a one month lag), and in order to salvage some credibility, when will ADP finally start providing not seasonally adjusted data like the BLS' Nonfarm payrolls report?

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monopoly's picture

What an amazing site we have here all. The "truth". 

GetZeeGold's picture



I suppose he gets a real 40 four/week job cause he's short or something.


When the hell do I get my exception?

Steve in Greensboro's picture

"Now this quarter of a man he got fired,

the next damn day he got hired.

The only thing wrong with this plan

is he only makes a quarter cause he's quarter of man"

IBelieveInMagic's picture

Being charitably inclined, I am wondering if this indicative of part time workers?

NoDebt's picture

So it's down to this, I guess.  Quibbling over the number 4 digits past the decimal.  I have more serious concerns about the 3 digits in front of the decimal.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

IMHO the point here is that rather than counting how many beans go into the chili by counting them dry before the chili is even made, they are making inferences on the bean count by assessing the flavor balance of sour cream to sweetness, or some other highly obtuse, remotely tangential, fakahkda (sp.), theoretical, fuzzy math-addled bullshit statement of quarter-truths that will keep their paychecks rolling in and rolling out.

John Law Lives's picture

That is a fine analogy re. how Washington, D.C. bureaucrats operate.  However, many of us in Texas believe real chili doesn't have beans.  ;->


Spigot's picture

Actually, what you have just outlined is EXACTLY how it's done in DC. The top dog tells his subordinates "get me this number". The subordinates each then go to their sub-subordinates and say "get me this number"...all the way down to the guy counting paperclips and rubber bands and red swingline staplers in the supply closet.

And people used to say the Kremlin was a mystery machine...ha!

redpill's picture

Does anyone really pay attention to ADP anymore?

Occident Mortal's picture

An organisation that can measure the labour market to the nearest 1/billionth of a worker?


Wow. What a time to be alive.

Lewshine's picture

WOW, Ben fixed that gold spike in a hurry - These people are truly the scum of the earth.

Pure Evil's picture

Ben's out the door. Yellen is your new master.


And hopefully the doorknob reamed him a new a$$hole on the way out.

USA USA's picture

Answer to question:


Spastica Rex's picture


derek_vineyard's picture

if anything is presented to me on a spreadsheet, i do not look at it. a spreadsheet is the sign of a simple mind.  math is a concept and easy to communicate.   if you can't communicate the math easily, you don't understand it.

(i do look a charts and spreadsheets for trends/coorelations as a tool)

What is The Hedge's picture

So, derek, if someone gives you a report, you don't ask for the underlying numbers? You don't ask the question, how did you get to this final number? Not wanting to examine the underlying figures is a sign of a lazy mind.

StychoKiller's picture

I use a spreadsheet to compute/keep track of income taxes.  They do have their uses.

Temporalist's picture

Amerikka has always been at war with Canadianada

Spigot's picture

... that would be "Spreadshit cell" ... I know it seems like a small difference, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Pool Shark's picture



It's not goal-seeking; it's drunk monkeys shooting at a paper target...


BandGap's picture

I seek goals, too. What's wrong with that? These people probably got big bonuses for their highly prized math skills.

krispkritter's picture

Can I get an Amen!  One of my favorite pasttimes.

The Dunce's picture

All the numbers are a bunch of bullshit.  Enough said.

tarsubil's picture

So much of our society is just lies. If Truth rests in your heart, count yourself among the blessed few.

Dr. Engali's picture

Maybe they are counting midgets.

SpeakerFTD's picture

Only if he typed an extra "o".

Rip van Wrinkle's picture

Cut the 'hate speech'! Vertically challenged is the term I believe.

pods's picture

I was always partial to dwarf.  As in dwarfism, the proper way to describe a midget.

Or maybe it was because in AD&D and fantasy gaming, dwarves tended to be fascinated with mining, gems and precious metals.



Urban Roman's picture

They are breeding a dwarf,

But they aren't done yet.

BandGap's picture

She had gray-green skin, a doll with a pin

I told her she was all right, but I couldn't come in.

Dr. Engali's picture

I was always partial towards the dark elves myself. We started playing way back when they came out with the first modules in th seventies. We kept that game going for a good twenty years. Then off and on for several more years before it finally petered out.Every once in a while I'll get a phone call from one of the group wanting to get together and play.

NoDebt's picture


(OK, I played, too way back when.  But 20 years you kept a game going??  Holy cow!  Usually we had people quit the instant their favorite character got killed.)

pods's picture

<fumbles around for the DM guide>

Guilty as well.  And the funny thing was, none of us committed suicide or sacrificed a virgin.


NoDebt's picture

Yet, pods.  YET.

We still have our eye on you.

Dr. Engali's picture

Hey I resemble that remark.

And yes we went to plenty of Star Trek conventions too ;->

ParkAveFlasher's picture


(19th level Monk with Quivering Palm + 23rd level Paladin in Full Plate, 18/100)

DontGive's picture

I second that!


<While secretly thinking of all the days down the drain spent on Evercrack>

Bearwagon's picture

Hey, we are talking of people who play "dwarf-tossing" during lunch breaks, so it is more than appropriate to mention the corresponding speech. Fuck "political correctness" - that is just meant to let the words of truth vanish forever - and the thoughts with 'em!

superflex's picture

Yeah, and you cant call the handicapped handicapped unless you are a handicapped parking sign.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Nice... :-)

Meanwhile it is clear that we are playing in the theater of the AB-surd.

I had a thought that warmed the cockles of my heart, thought fellow ZHers would appreciate it:

Looking back at the moment global de-coupling actually occured will be a really intense feeling, so much energy invested into it, all exploding at that moment. And it will be a moment, a shot fired across some bow.


DavrosoftheDaleks's picture

Question, which is most real:

Santa Claus

Easter Bunny

ADP Jobs Number

China's GDP

TheReplacement's picture

Something keeps crapping on my porch floor so I'm going it Easter Bunny.

takeaction's picture

This thing is going to crash and burn so hard...I can just feel the fed panic.  Gold and Silver shoot up, they smack it down.  The Stock Market starts to collapse and they "Buy".  This is a shit storm that they can not continue to fake for long.  Look at all of the numbers.  It is incredible.