The last time we caught the BLS systematically making up data, specifically as pertains to the NFP-parallel JOLTS survey, the result was truly epic: a one time adjustment in which the Bureau did everything it could to, in one month, plug the gap we had highlighted, resulting in the most skewed (and hilarious) data series we had every observed.
This time around, the BLS has once again outdone itself, focusing however not on the JOLTS survey, but on the one aspect of the labor force that has dominated public attention: the impact of Obamacare on the distribution of jobs by full-time vs part-time. As is well-known, and as we have been reporting for the past three or so years but becoming particularly acute in the last 3 months, virtually all job gains reported by the BLS had come in the ranks of the part-time workers, and to the detriment of full-time jobs. This resulted in substantial criticism of Obama, and the impact Obamacare has on jobs.
Well, some time in the past month and a half, the Obama administration called up the BLS and told them to remedy this.
Sure enough, while the September Establishment Survey was a disappointing +148K, far below expectations, it was the Household Survey where the fun was.On the top line, the gain in jobs was comparable to the Establishment number: a timid 133K.
However, looking at the breakdown between Full-Time and Part-Time jobs reveals something simply hilarious. The chart below summarizes it.
In brief: according to the BLS' magic calculations, in one month, the month during which the so-called uncertainly surrounding the government shutdown hit its peak (if one listens to CEO apologists), the US work force saw the rotation of some 594K part-time workers into a whopping 691K full-time jobs, in addition to adding over 100K net new jobs in the month.
And like that, the mouths of all those who criticize Obamacare have been shit for good, all courtesy of Arima X 12 and a few goalseeked tweaks in Excel.