Why You Shouldn't Trust Tomorrow's BLS Number

Tyler Durden's picture

While much has been written on the revisions, adjustments, and just-plain-guesses that make up the BLS' non-farm-payroll data, the frustration levels are building in the Bay Area as Charles Biderman provides the most in-depth discussion of why we need a better press corps. The simple truth, as Charles notes, is that even the BLS doesn't believe its own hype (in its footnotes) and while mainstream media and talking heads will quote the unemployment rate or NFP change as if it was transcribed by the hand of God, it is in fact an extremely ill-formed, very narrow survey with such huge statistical noise as to be entirely useless. However, while every human should watch this brief clip before buying that 100-lot ES milliseconds after the release tomorrow, we suspect, as usual, it will be algos-gone-wild no matter how many sigma we beat or miss.


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Paul Atreides's picture

The entire movie can be found here.

vast-dom's picture

the real bad news is that assholes trade the erroneous data, knowingly.



Max Hunter's picture

it's all self-fulfilling.. Just like trend lines on charts..

Betty Swallsack's picture

Why I shouldn't believe the US govt's B[L]S numbers...


Oh, oh, oh, I know this one!

....because this is the same gov't that 'tells the truth' [nudge, nudge, wink, wink] about  terrorists, the mortgage backed securities ponzi scheme, Saddam's 'nookular' weapons, Iran's nuclear weapons, when-pigs-fly-flu, Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the necessity of current wars of conquest and imperialism.

That's why.


q99x2's picture

The BLS is dependent upon a Technical Note that relieves them of responsibility and they do take FB pre-IPO if offered.

Hansel's picture

Here's the link to the technical note.  Like Biderman said, the note has been around forever.


There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the "true" population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence.

For example, the confidence interval for the monthly change in total nonfarm employment from the establishment survey is on the order of plus or minus 100,000. Suppose the estimate of nonfarm employment increases by 50,000 from one month to the next. The 90-percent confidence interval on the monthly change would range from -50,000 to +150,000 (50,000 +/- 100,000).

fuu's picture

How is farm payroll doing these days?

SoCalBusted's picture

ex kids working on farm?

Gully Foyle's picture

"Maggie's Farm"

I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
No, I aint gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well, I wake up in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin' me insane
It's a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
No, I aint gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel
He hands you a dime
He asks you with a grin
If you're havin' a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother more.

I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
No, I aint gonna work for Maggie's pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks
The National Guard stands around his door
Ah, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more.

I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more
No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more
Well, when she talks to all the servants
About man and God and law
Everybody says
She's the brains behind pa
She's sixty-eight, but she says she's twenty-four
I ain't gonna work for Maggie's ma no more.

I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
I aint gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They say sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

kralizec's picture

I don't need anymore reasons to not trust these asshats anymore!  Their mere existence assures it.

carbonmutant's picture

Because I don't trust the current BLS numbers...?

fiddler_on_the_roof's picture

if you do as Biderman tells, you surely lose money.

He was the idiot who told us all to get out of the stock market in June 2009 which I promptly ignored.

SheepDog-One's picture

Sorry, Biderman said equity markets will go up.

Pladizow's picture

Thanks, nice to find a Peter video I havnt seen before.

fonzannoon's picture

Yeah funny I am just paying it forward....someone else put it on yesterday

VonManstein's picture

why we never see Schiff mentioned on ZH.. any ideas?

TWSceptic's picture

He has been, just not that frequently.

fiddler_on_the_roof's picture

Ba Ba Black sheep,

you enjoy being sheared ? now you start lying.



look at time 3:14 in this video. He is saying it was a bubble since April 2009..

you need to get your facts correct before you start bleating here.

SheepDog-One's picture

3:50 in the video he says 'This market can go up until the bubble breaks!'  I dont know what youre refering to here, he didnt say equities are going down or short the market at all! He's again just saying the data is BS!

fiddler_on_the_roof's picture

He did not say short - but said to get out of the market in APRIL 2009. what more do you want ?

He made several "disgraceful" appearances during summer 2009 to repeat that BS.

Starting 3:14 on OCT 2009 -  he accepts he has been wrong about stocks for past 5 months. what more do you want.

I can find other quotes also he made.

I guess all ZH also encouraged that - search for Biderman in ZH.


SheepDog-One's picture

I never said Biderman was right about anything, stating that 'he has been wrong'...so what? All he did in your video was state the BLS numbers are BS and that the market bubble can go higher.

And also Ive never done anything in a market as someone else told me to do anyway, so its irrelevant to me.

fiddler_on_the_roof's picture

No, he stated that he was wrong about the stock market for 5 months. ie he was wrong in his assessment that stocks will go down since April 2009. Also he says he was short right at the trough of stocks.

Also that comment - "All market bubbles can go high until it pops" is a useless comment. How long is long  - 50 years, 10 years or 1 week ?

He and other likes you(including ZH) have been so wrong about stocks for 3 years and you still don't know what hit you.

I am not here to debate you - but to show how foolish it was to follow them. Now he may become correct again in a couple of months, but then a dead clock is

right twice a day.



Pladizow's picture

Im Ok with being wrong about the stcok market for the last 3 years, as I've been right about the metals for 10!

economics9698's picture

The current money bubble will take about three to five years to play out.  We are in year 3 plus 7 months.  If Biderman did his homework he would know this.  Year 4 will suck.

FlyoverCountrySchmuck's picture

"He and other likes you(including ZH) have been so wrong about stocks for 3 years and you still don't know what hit you."


Bob Janjuah: "Markets Are So Rigged By Policy Makers That I Have No Meaningful Insights To Offer"

Zerohedge- 2/20/12



Keep buyin', sucker...

Just don't expect a bailout or sympathy when it all comes crashing down upon your head on, or about, Jan 1, 2013.

Shizzmoney's picture

Wow, learned alot here. 

I mean, at some point, reality sets in here for folks even on Wall Street, right? (Oh wait, most of the trading is done by computers in the virtual world, I forgot).

Boilermaker's picture

The propoganda isn't intended to dupe the 10%, it's meant to dupe the 90%.

It does just that.

SheepDog-One's picture

Even though the 90% cant buy stocks with their EBT cards, the propaganda does serve to keep them baffled with BS and comforted that they can safely consume more, for today at least.

niktamere's picture

get that consumer confidence up!

or ws that consumer comfort....

niktamere's picture

comments on this thread were moderately better than expected

Boilermaker's picture

It's the warm weather effect, to my understanding of what someone else told me.

km4's picture

DAVID STOCKMAN: It's True, The BLS Data Is Made Up - Business Insider http://read.bi/yabCJS



km4's picture

Bottom Line on Feb 7, 9:55 AM said:
Over 2 million unemployed longer than 6 months 3 years ago, now over 5 million in that boat. Folks there's the elephant in the room they are trying to hide.

Thumbs Up +122

Thumbs down - 2


NFP = Gov't work by Gov't employees.
Is it any wonder?

ZippyBananaPants's picture

So basically, these numbers are used to move the sheep in one direction or another!

SheepDog-One's picture

So we know its just made up and not to pay attention to any number the propaganda machine puts out. But we can learn a bit about their intended direction of further easing or no easing. I think theyre going with 'no easing' myself, we'll see if thats true with a 'surprise big beat' tomorrow, which will of course signal the junkies arent getting a fix antime soon.

farmerjohn2112's picture

'We' all know, cuz we're smart - otherwise we wouldn't hang out on ZH for 'real' news... it's the sheeple that worry me. I watched an episode of nightly propaganda the other night and was truly horrified at what was fed to the DWTS crowd: Obummer in Afghansitan popping up two more years of occupation, a feature on what happens when you walk away from the valet (Bueller?) and fluff about how everyone's 401k is upUpUP! Meanwhile, I'm making shotgun shells and growing my own food because I can no longer afford the grocery. Go figure.

junkyardjack's picture

So it could be that things are way better than the data that they are putting out shows.  Interesting

SheepDog-One's picture

Youre saying they want to make things seem worse than what they really are?

insanelysane's picture

Print will be 7.9%, book it.

niktamere's picture

howd you like to win a super cool cnbc baseball cap?

insanelysane's picture

Only if signed by my idol Cramer<sarc>  This week's number is crazy low in order to set up the "math" behind a drop in the unemployment rate.  Next week, this number is going to be jacked up but the unemployment rate will stay at 7.9 for the month and then lowered.  We will be around 6.8 by November with at least another 1 million jobs disappearing.

niktamere's picture

bad print = qe expectations = shoot into green

good print = shoot into green

happy scalping!

insanelysane's picture

The next QE won't be called QE.  The Fed is strategizing a new method for dumping money to the banksters.  They are going to go underground till after the election.  In the footnotes of the banksters financial reports, we will see nonsensical comments about how their balances have increase.

niktamere's picture

y= wealth from interest charged on war appropriations

Z= devaluation of money


X = Y + Z

What is X?


credit: gangland