TrimTabs Explains Why Today's "Very, Very Suspicious" NFP Number Is Really Down 2.9 Million In Past 2 Months

Tyler Durden's picture

We have examined the nuance of the euphoric jobs data this morning from every angle and by now there should be plenty of 'information' for investors to make their own minds up on its credibility. However, the avuncular CEO of TrimTabs, who despite channeling Lewis Black lately, likely knows this data a little better than the average Jim on the street having collected tax witholdings data for the past 14 years, is modestly apoplectic at the adjustments. In one of his more colorful episodes, and rightfully so, Charles Biderman notes that "Either there is something massively changed in the income tax collection world, or there is something very, very suspicious about today’s BLS hugely positive number," adding, "Actual jobs, not seasonally adjusted, are down 2.9 million over the past two months. It is only after seasonal adjustments – made at the sole discretion of the Bureau of Labor Statistics economists – that 2.9 million fewer jobs gets translated into 446,000 new seasonally adjusted jobs." A 3.3 million "adjustment" solely at the discretion of the BLS? And this from the agency that just admitted it was underestimating the so very critical labor participation rate over the past year? Finally, Biderman wonders whether the BLS is being pressured during an election year to paint an overly optimistic picture by President Obama’s administration in light of these 'real unadjusted job change' facts. Frankly, in light of recent discoveries about the other "impartial" organization, the CBO, we don't think there is any need to wonder at all.

TrimTabs believes the job growth picture lies somewhere in between TrimTabs estimate and the BLS’.  Looking forward to February and March, we will have a much cleaner picture of job growth as we move away from the effects of tax law changes, bonus season, and enormous seasonal adjustments.

A comparison of TrimTabs’ real-time withholding tax based employment results versus the BLS’ preliminary and revised results from January 2011 through January 2012 are summarized in the following table:


and from details from his blog (for the press corps to perhaps dig a little deeper):

Obviously I am quite suspicious of the numbers that I see in today’s BLS press release.  Remember most financial journalists and even stock market strategists do nothing more than rewrite government press releases. So do not expect very few others to question the good news.


For those of you who care, look at Table B-1, Total Nonfarm Employment in today’s BLS press release. Start with the non seasonally adjusted table that shows that in November 2011, there were 133.172 million actual jobs. Actual jobs dropped by 220,000 jobs in December and actual jobs dropped an additional 2.7 million in January. Only as a result of unknown seasonal adjustments, could the BLS report 243,000 new hires in January.


Yes, the labor market contracts during the winter and expands in the spring and summer.  Could this number be manipulated? Of course it could. Is it? I don’t know. Am I the only suspicious soul out here? Hope not. Certainly feels lonely right now.

Finally, and this is a repeat of what we said prior using SIFMA data (so originating at the US banksthemsleves), for the US unemployment to be declining, Federal tax withholdings have to be rising: there is no way around it! Instead, as the chart below shows, trailing quarterly collections have just turned negative.


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cossack55's picture

Is there any ZH'er anywhere who does not know the "real" score? I didn't think so.  Tough living amongst such fools.

brewing's picture

it's so hard knowing you're right and know the truth...

Toolshed's picture

Tell me about it. I try to enlighten my family and friends and they simply DO NOT want to hear the truth and act like it is me that is misinformed. Very, very sad and frustrating. Humans are clearly defective and need to be extinctified. Too bad we will eat anything and breed like cockroaches.

brewing's picture

"what the american people don't know, is what makes them the american people"  ray zalinksi on Tommy Boy...

I Got Worms's picture

You should watch my family's eyes glaze over when I show them a gold or silver coin and explain why I add to my family's stack every chance I get. They think the coins are neat-o novelties I found in a cracker jack box. And my dad is supposed to be smart - he's got the dreaded P-h-D after his name and is a college professor, but might be the biggest sheep person I know. I've got a 2 year old and a 2 month old, and those boys will be raised with eyes WIDE open to avoid all the mistakes their pop made his first 35 years, simply because he didn't know any better.

lemonobrien's picture

hide your gold from your family. ex. identify theft is perpetrated most by family members praying on family members. when the shit hit fan; your daddy will come a knock'n and a begg'n; cut bait, protect your youngs.

StormShadow's picture

Gave up trying to educate others long ago my friend. Even my dad, a 20+ year Wall St vet retired in 99 just cannot get his head around the fact this is a totally different market (in fact it's no market at all) with NO RULES, certainly no rule of law. Won't read my emails and won't talk to me about market conditions. Says he is prepared, has reallocated his money. Problem is it's all in paper; doesn't own so much as a gold bracelet. He's gonna get destroyed but refuses to listen. It's just tragic, but hey I've done all I can do. Have fun shinin shoes into your 90s pop.

kill switch's picture

No, It's fucking frustrating,,,I say.

alien-IQ's picture

My days consist of trading from home and reading ZH and a few other sites.

Then I go out into the world. Meet up with friends, have drinks, dinner and chat with them. Occasionally the topic of the economy, politics, the stock market come up.

I listen to them talk, I see many of them are for the most part "happy". And I can't help but to think...My god, maybe they were right after all. Maybe ignorance is indeed bliss.

JPM Hater001's picture

My day consists of wondering why I should go out and do my job.  Then I check zerohedge.  rinse, repeat.

I have started carrying around 2 pre-64 quarters and 2 Pre-soviet collapse coins (they are nice cause they say CCCP).  What is the difference between these two coins?


alien-IQ's picture


JPM Hater001's picture

Just like we will soon, the Soviets currency collapsed.  The coins are just worthless relics of an age where everyone thought the government was the be all and end all.

alien-IQ's picture

Ah. Ok. got it. sorry. It didn't quite click at first.

Transformer's picture

Alien-IQ "I listen to them talk, I see many of them are for the most part "happy". And I can't help but to think...My god, maybe they were right after all. Maybe ignorance is indeed bliss."

Things might get a little worse, but all the data from the past few months is showing the economy,  housing, labor, starting to turn around.  Things are looking up.  You know, they may be right.  Just remember that old song. . . .


Smilers never lose, and frowners never win.

So open up your heart and let the sunshine in.

alien-IQ's picture

In a thread about "suspicious government statistics" which contains, at it's beginning, a video that clearly shows that the government statistics are bullshit...You are trying to suggest that things seem to be getting better according to government statistics.

Do you see the irony in this? Or are you really that...Blissful?

Whalley World's picture

A fool and his money... ever see the blissful look of a vilage idiot? look in the mirror

AnAnonymous's picture

Election year? Maybe.

I think though the trend will continue post elections.

In US citizenism, an ignored problem is a solved problem.

grid-b-gone's picture

To ignore is to solve. A new one for my repertoire. +1

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Bullshit, Lies and

lolmao500's picture

Wouldn't that be Bureau of Lying Sadists?

Bill Lumbergh's picture

You would be correct as sadistic is an adjective...thank you for noticing my grammatical oversight.

Zola's picture

Unfortunately USSA has embarked on a course of lying and data manipulation seen too often in Argentina / Russia etc... There is little to be done right now. Investor lemmings have lost their ability to critically analyse data and will follow the line upward as long as Benny prints until total catastrophic collapse like seen in the previous examples. 

centerline's picture

Most funds are forced to. They need returns and thanks to ZIRP don't have a choice in terms of risk profile. For them, it is risk-on or insolvency. Scary.

walküre's picture

start packing bags.. last one turns off the lights!

government that is out of control and knee deep into manipulation and blatant propanda efforts will stop at nothing.

there is no hope, there is no change, there is only the one-way train straight into the FEMA camps for all that dare question government.

Romney, Gingrich, Obama or whoever else is coming to enact the laws..

kaa1016's picture

Be that as it may Mr. Biderman, but everyone who has been bearish for the last 25% up move in the S&P has gotten their ass handed to them. At some point this market is going to correct but as long as I'm on the right side of the trade, I don't give a shit.

sabra1's picture

come back to us when the internet is down, and your momma ain't there to make the boo-boo go away!

Quinvarius's picture

Stocks are up on money printing.  But they are up.  The money won't stop flowing because everyone is terrified of where the bottom might be if they stop.

Dr. Engali's picture

I'd rather be on the side of doing what is right than have a few extra bucks in my hand because Ben decided to make life a lot harder for some poor people.

alien-IQ's picture

So what you are saying is that you are not bothered by fraud and manipulation as long as you can make money on it?

grid-b-gone's picture

Many who caught all the upside from Oct 4th also caught most of the downside since S&P 1,370 in May. 

Unless the low is in for the year, both opinions can still make money.


Marge N. Callz's picture

Not seasonal adjusted the U-6 unemployment rate increased from 15.2 to 16.2%. Actual and Make Believe data are conflicting. When the real data sucks, just fudge it.

campag's picture

i know ZH loves killing GS market calls quite rightly so

but they made a call on the Russell2000 seems they were looking for 835-

its got very close in double quick time

Jlmadyson's picture


All say word up in January.

Jayda1850's picture

You're telling me the government would lie to its own people? Who would have ever thought /sarc/

HD's picture

If I had panties I'd throw them at this guy.

Suspicious indeed good sir. Suspicious indeed.

DogSlime's picture

This is getting ridiculous.

It's all utterly Orwelian - not just today's misinformation, but everything for the last 10 years or more.

Totally fucking Orwelian.

Think in Newspeak.

We're fucked :(

alien-IQ's picture

I cannot begin to imagine what kind of toll the constant gathering and digging into this non stop barrage of government Bullshit takes on Tyler (or "all The Tylers").

Just reading this day in and day out is often times a mind-numbing, soul sucking, rage inducing exercise. I can't imagine the metal and emotional toll it must take on someone doing it with the relentlessness that ZH displays.

I am honestly in awe of what you guys accomplish here.

HD's picture

Oh, I don't know.  The Tyler's are obviously not here for the money or for kudos from the peanut gallery. I think they enjoy exposing the endless BS, maybe they get to even a few scores we'll never know about. I suspect they love what they do. The satisfaction of forcing CNBC to respond to articles posted here is a huge victory imo.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant - glad a group of dedicated folks are around to open the curtains.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

ZH=the first an actually real 'ANONYMOUS'.

Arthor Bearing's picture

Well if it's too stressful then he can take heart that soon the gov't will shut his site down and gladly feed him daily meals of water and bread

seek's picture

The toll is significant, but you can accept it and turn it into comedy, both of which the Tylers are doing.

My profession is in forecasting (microeconomic stuff, with macro inputs.) Anyone sane is in the same boat, and I've talked with corporate planners and economists at Fortune 500 companies and most of them know we're fucked, though the toe-the-line chief economists types always try to put a happy face on it. Just this week I was speaking with a psychologist about this level of cognitive dissonance, and her comments were interesting -- a key recipe for stress and PTSD is to know with certainty a negative event is coming, but to not know when, ie for the timing of it to be essentially random; the parellels were living with a violent alcoholic that doesn't drink every day, or being in the military in an undefinied conflict (e.g. Afghanistan) where you're mostly safe until someone randomly vaporizes a truck in front of you. 100% certainty bad shit is going to happen, and you just don't know when.

The current situation is tailor-made to generate maximum stress if you have even the slightest understanding. Now pretend you're in charge of planning for this shit going down, and it's harder still. I can't imagine the stress someone like David Walker went through before snapping and telling the truth to whoever would listen.

Anyway, I too am grateful that the Tylers put up with this day after day. For the rest of us, take a break from it now and then, prepare with food, fuel, firearms and medical supplies and then grab a bowl of popcorn.

There's no stopping what's coming, so you might as well enjoy the view.



ZippyBananaPants's picture

Someone must have used some industrial Duct Tape, a whole roll, on Ron Paul today.  He has to be pissed.


Gotta love Lewis Black, tell it like it is Mo-Fo!!