The BLS Just "Revised" Away One Full Month Of Job Gains For Year Ending March 2015

As if there was not enough negative data for the Fed to contend with, and make the case for a rate hike delay already, moments ago the BLS released the preliminary estimate of its "annual benchmark revision to the establishment survey employment series" for the 12 month period ended March 2015.  While the final report will not be released until February 5, 2016, with the publication of the January 2016 Employment Situation news release, today's release will give the Fed yet another reason for concern as the BLS just admitted that at least 208K total jobs (and 255K private jobs) were overestimated in the year ending March 2015.

This is equivalent to eliminating nearly one full month of job gains in the specified 12 month period, and spread across the various months, would have meant a constant series of NFP headline misses instead of consensus beats, likely leading to a far more adverse algo kneejerk reaction on the first Friday of every month.

From the BLS:

Each year, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey employment estimates are benchmarked to comprehensive counts of employment for the month of March. These counts are derived from state unemployment insurance (UI) tax records that nearly all employers are required to file. For National CES employment series, the annual benchmark revisions over the last 10 years have averaged plus or minus three-tenths of one percent of total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates a downward adjustment to March 2015 total nonfarm employment of -208,000 (-0.1 percent).


Preliminary benchmark revisions are calculated only for the month of March 2015 for the major industry sectors in table 1. The existing employment series are not updated with the release of the preliminary benchmark estimate. The data for all CES series will be updated when the final benchmark revision is issued.


Table 1 shows the March 2015 preliminary benchmark revisions by major industry sector. As is typically the case, many of the individual industry series show larger percentage revisions than the total nonfarm series, primarily because statistical sampling error is greater at more detailed levels than at an aggregated level.

And here is the latest quandary for the Fed which mercifully will be able to ignore this latest confirmation the economy has been slowing down substantially in the past year, well above what the various other economic indicators have already suggested.