Did The BLS Again Forget To Count The Tens Of Thousands Of Energy Job Losses?
A month ago we asked if the "BLS Forget To Count Thousands Of Energy Job Losses" when as we showed, the BLS reported that only 1,900 jobs were lost in the entire oil and gas extraction space, which was a vast underestimation of what is taking place in reality, when compared to not only corporate layoff announcements, but what Challenger had reported was going on in the shale patch, when it calculated that some 21,300 jobs were lost in January in just the energy sector.
Today we ask again: did the BLS once more forget to add the now tens of thousands of jobs lost in the US energy sector? We ask because the divergence is getting, frankly, ridiculous.
In the February NFP report, the establishment survey reported that just 1.1K jobs were lost in the "Oil and Gas Extraction" industry: this is lower than the downward revised number of 1.8K in January, and adds up to only 2900 jobs lost in 2015.
As a reminder, this is what Challenger said just yesterday:
Once again, the energy sector saw the heaviest job cutting in February, with these firms announcing 16,339 job cuts, due primarily to oil prices.
Falling oil prices have been responsible for 39,621 job cuts, to date. That represents 38 percent of all recorded workforce reductions announced in the first two months of 2015. In February, 36 percent of all job cuts (18,299) were blamed on oil prices.
“Oil exploration and extraction companies, as well as the companies that supply them, are definitely feeling the impact of the lowest oil prices since 2009. These companies, while reluctant to completely shutter operations, are being forced to trim payrolls to contain costs,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
It even provided a handy chart to understand which is the weakest sector in the US economy right now, which as we said yesterday, "is the one chart that the BLS, if it ignored everything else, should look at."
As a result, this is what the job losses in the energy sector look like based on the calculation of the BLS and of Challenger, which actively counts the layoffs, and has no White House-driven agenda to paint a rosier than reality picture.
One wonders: just what is the BLS waiting for to finally admit the real picture in the energy sector (and frankly, just what is the methodology used by the BLS to calculate "jobs" if it is failing so miserably to account for what is clearly happening) and will it serve the steaming surprise pile just after the Fed decides to hike rates some time in the coming months?
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