BLS Revises Historical Job Numbers Higher By Half A Million: A Look At The "Before" And "After"

Tyler Durden's picture

With the HFT brigade selling then buying, and trying to goalseek an explanation of why this happened after the fact, one key aspect of today's release that was ignored is that the BLS just revised its Establishment Survey data, in the process changing all historical job numbers. To wit: "Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. Also, household survey data for January 2014 reflect updated population estimates." As a result of this revision, while the monthly changes were not that dramatic, what happened is that the "stock" level of jobs as reflected in the Establishment Survey rose by half a million as of December 31, from 136,877 to 137,386. And so all key historic data - from GDP in early 2013 to jobs - has now been revised to reflect a more rosy economy, and instill consumers with even more confidence in hopes they will spend, spend, spend.

A table summary of the change: before and after.

And the monthly change in the Establishment Survey in the pre and post-revision numbers.

Some more details from the BLS on the revision:

In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data released today have been benchmarked to reflect comprehensive counts of payroll jobs for March  2013. These counts are derived principally from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), which enumerates jobs covered by the UI tax system. The benchmark process results in revisions to not seasonally adjusted data from April 2012 forward. Seasonally adjusted data from January 2009 forward are subject to revision. In addition, data for some series prior to 2009, both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, incorporate revisions.


The total nonfarm employment level for March 2013 was revised upward by 369,000 (+347,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis, or 0.3 percent). The average benchmark revision over the past 10 years was plus or minus 0.3 percent.


This revision incorporates the reclassification of jobs in the QCEW. Private household employment is out of scope for the establishment survey. The QCEW reclassified some private household employment into an industry that is in scope for the establishment survey--services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. This reclassification accounted for an increase of 466,000 jobs in the establishment survey. This increase of 466,000 associated with reclassification was offset by survey error of -119,000 for a total net benchmark revision of +347,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Historical time series have been reconstructed to incorporate these revisions.


The effect of these revisions on the underlying trend in nonfarm payroll employment was minor. For example, the over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for 2013 was revised from 2,186,000 to 2,322,000 seasonally adjusted. Table A presents revised total nonfarm employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis for January through December 2013.

And now, if only the Department of Truth can revise away the Great Financial Crisis, and all shall be well.

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sbenard's picture

Wall St has a disease. It's called DISTAPER!

TruthInSunshine's picture

"Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors.."

-should read-

"Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual GOALSEEKING process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors."


Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Great news, NO MORE "JOB LOCK" in USSA! You are not like you are job, you can quit you are job!

In other news, chocolate ration is increase from 5g per day to 20g per week.

X_mloclaM's picture

If they mention the nonseasonally adjusted households the BLS called / if they didnt seasonally adjust like that, they couldnt keep tapering, you know

krispkritter's picture

I hear there's a shot for that.  Hopefully the needle is 9mm...

In other healthcare news: Jails in 6 states put inmates on Obamacare

mayhem_korner's picture



But don't those inmates have to show their voter registration cards before getting healthcare?

Ballin D's picture

The article says theyre enrolling them before they are convicted.

The Dunce's picture

I don't trust Wall Street.  Nor do I trust my mother.  Bitches.

Divided States of America's picture

I am going to buy some puts first thing this morning...i see no reason why anybody would want to be long going into this weekend. This morning bounce aint scaring me.

Headbanger's picture

We just saw the pop...  And now the drop!

Looks like the market just hit up against the major channel line it broke below on Monday

TruthInSunshine's picture

You shouldn't do that unless you get unlimited mulligans...errr Goldman.

Dr. Engali's picture

I would be careful with that trade. Old Yeller testifies before CONgress next week. I've been buying the dip, but I would be cautious holding a position before then. One word from her and this market will scream higher.

sbenard's picture

Courtesy of our Dear Leader, the Propaganda President!

GetZeeGold's picture



If you look might find a smidgen of truth.

LawsofPhysics's picture

We're being lied too?  < shocker >

History is very clear on one thing; roll the mother fucking guillotines, nothing changes otherwise.

ArkansasAngie's picture

Remember the preferred method of throwing the bums out is voting.  It is much more pleasant even for those who get throw out of office.

This BS needs to stop.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Why?  Do they suffer any real consequences like bankruptcy or a real decline in their current standard of living?  With all due respect Angie, pull your head out of your ass. Just serving a single term makes you set for life although it does seem that getting in on the IMF or UN scam is the real ticket.  Those who make justice impossible make a violent revolution unavoidable.

For the good of you and yours, I sincerely hope you hedge accordingly.

El Vaquero's picture

What good does replacing one bum do when you get much of the same with another bum.  The candidates themselves are rigged.  When they're not rigged, they either become ineffective very quickly or they are rigged after they take office. 

Skin666's picture

If you still vote, you're voting for your own enslavement.


If you want this BS to stop, stop fucking voting for it!

SDShack's picture

It doesn't matter who sits in the congressional chair anymore. The lobbyists write the bills. Cases in point... 0zer0care, Farm Bill, Amnesty etc. Term limits just means more lobbyist influence, if that's even possible. The most important elections in 2014 will be the primaries. It's the only hope of any changes, even minor ones happening. Every real constitutional candidate should be supported. But even that won't be enough at this point. Too often, even these people are corrupted as soon as they hit Wash DC. We have truly crossed the Rubicon. Real change will never happen until the masses are demonstrating in the streets. Today the only thing that will cause that is if you cut off their Free Govt Shit, so that will never happen. No, it will have to get so bad that the masses are literally starving in the streets before real change will occur. This shit is going to go on for years, probably decades and become unimaginably worse before it finally breaks.

ebworthen's picture

"Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors..."


Yeah, and then BLS added:

  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


madbraz's picture

Yeah right, like the extremely negative revisions in years past (2011, I believe) had any negative impact on the market back then.

gwar5's picture

It was also officially reported that the late, great Kim Jong-IL recorded 11 holes-in-one in a single round of golf. 

TheReplacement's picture

Pretty amazing on a 9 hole eh?  Poor ball washers....

Colonel Klink's picture

"Poor ball washers"

What does Obama have to do with this?

ziggy59's picture

One letter too many in B(L)S!

medium giraffe's picture

They must have forgotten to include forced labour in Gitmo.

Dr. Engali's picture

War is Peace , Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength , ... truth.... the truth is for suckers.

Curt W's picture

and the old numbers were promptly put in the memory hole, and off to the incinerator.  Thus a new version of history.

mayhem_korner's picture



This just in: the BLS just revised the Super Bowl.  Broncos won, 97-1.

LukeWorm's picture

Please revise additional dollars in my bank account.


mayhem_korner's picture



Just send me your account number and password and we'll take care of that pronto.

SDShack's picture

Don't worry, MyRA will take care of those "additional" dollars in your account that you are so worried about....

akarc's picture

" And so all key historic data - from GDP in early 2013 to jobs - has now been revised to reflect a more rosy economy, and instill consumers with even more confidence in hopes they will spend, spend, spend."


That assumes the "consumer" even looks at these numbers.  

The consumer, as a result of stock charged IRA gains, thinks things are getting better. They will not think differently until "After" the "event".  And as before they will cry and ask questions and it will start all over again.

To factor in what the average "consumer" thinks into anything is adding ignorance to the equation.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

the revsions make it look pretty

replaceme's picture

Everything is awesome!

madbraz's picture

Today's action reads more or less like a sick patient that goes to the doctor and finds out that he is going to die, but leaves the hospital happy because the doctor commented that he liked his new shirt.  


In other words, you have to be a lunatic to still believe in the plot being told.

optimator's picture

Potemkin village.

ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

If you are at home taking care of your elderly parents or a disabled child or whatever, you are now considered employed though you likely earn no income or pay any taxes as a result of your labor of love. In fact, one would hope you receive some assistance from the government beyond a placard for parking. Welcome to the workforce!