UPDATE 2: I just got word from DWD that the numbers in CES are not seasonally adjusted and the numbers in the press release are seasonally adjusted. That explains the discrepancy. While the numbers provided are accurate for NSA data, they are not, to be fair, accurate from a reporting standpoint.
UPDATE: There is some conflict with the numbers I pulled from WORKnet and what the DWD released in a press release. I’m continuing to dig into the discrepancy. The numbers they provide do not line up with the numbers in the CES database and I want to understand why that is. My guess is it’s a seasonal adjustment of some sort.
Based on a quick review of the latest data from WORKnet, Wisconsin lost 62,000 non-farm jobs or 46,400 private sector jobs between December 2011 and January 2012. The state lost 19,400 non-farm jobs from Jan 2011 to Jan 2012 and 7,000 private sector jobs from Jan 2011 to Jan 2012. We’re going the wrong way, Wisconsin. It’s really, really, really not working.
Here’s a couple of quick charts showing the trends. Data from the CES report on WORKNet
14 thoughts on “[UPDATE 2] BREAKING NEWS: Wisconsin Sheds More Jobs in January”
hahahahaa i can just imagine you panicking when you saw the jobs numbers and then rushing to your little computer and trying to figure out how things could turn around so favorably for the Governor. Just accept it man. Wisconsin just gained back half the jobs it lost over the last 6 months in one month. If you are going to start talking about seasonal adjusted numbers why don’t you go look into how they calculate the national unemployment rate now and start complaining about Obama.
Any reason your analysis excludes farm-related employment? Wisconsin is an agricultural state.
I understand that including farm-related numbers shows that state-wide employment has been on a continuously increasing trend since at least Aug 2011, and that this trend is ananthematic to your ‘it’s really not working’ theme … but including those numbers would be accurate, no? Especially when those numbers also show a continuous decrease in unemployment and unemployment rate.
While understandably painful, it really is working.
You’d have to talk to the Bureau of Labor Statistics about why farm labor is treated differently from non-farm. I honestly don’t know why they separate farm and non-farm payrolls but it is a traditional labor measurement.
I’m not asking why they break it out that way, I’m asking why you’re only discussing the non-farm number, and not the total employment number that includes farm employment?
My point being, yes – non-farm employment was on a m-m decline from Aug – Dec (even though it was a y-y increase). However, when farm employment is taken into consideration (as is done in the total employment number) we see a month to month increase in the number of employed workers in the state.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what the BLS reasoning is behind pulling farm labor out. This is the best answer I’ve seen:
That sounds like a sensible justification for their break-out. Particularly if the numbers are used for modeling economic growth predictions, as the PhillyFed does.
Because farming is cyclical, and weather dependent, (at least crop farming) I have no idea if the farm specific numbers make much sense in those models.
But again, that wasn’t my point or question. As I interpret the top post, it’s not about future predictions, it’s analysis of rear-looking data on the number of employed Wisconsinites. If that’s the case my contention is clearly that farm workers should be counted, as they meet the criteria of being employed within this state.
It may disrupt the narrative, but isn’t accuracy more important?
A net year-over-year (Jan 11 – Jan 12) loss of 12,500 non-farm jobs is not something for Wisconsin to celebrate. It’s really not working… At all.
And I’m sorry, but non-farm employment is the measure of choice for these reports. I don’t make those rules / guidelines, I’m just the bearer of the data.
But by all means, go digging for farm employment. Don’t let me stop you!
I concur it’s a choice to use only non-farm data, it’s that choice that I’m challenging. You’re making a choice to be the bearer of incomplete data. Also, wasn’t this your blog post? If you don’t make the rules/guidelines, who does?
We are in agreement that the loss of 12,500 non-farm jobs during Gov Walker’s term is nothing to celebrate. Just as the loss of some 167,000 non-farm jobs during the previous administration was no cause for celebration.
I’m not “digging” for farm employment, the total employment numbers are listed in the first table of both the BLS and DWD reports. It would be more accurate to say one was “digging” to cite only the non-farm numbers.
I guess I disagree that the data that includes the variability of farm employment constitute a more “accurate” representation. They don’t. If you’re looking at longitudinal data, you want the data to be smoother. The reality is, when you add the farm data, all you get are seasonal fluctuations in the data and not long-term impact. That’s what seasonal adjustments do.
I haven’t been a statistician for many years now, and I certainly wasn’t an expert at population statistics (you’d need to talk to my dad for that, before he passed away, he was the deputy director of the United States Census), but I do know enough about statistics to say that the non-farm data represent a more accurate longitudinal view of the data. This is why DWD and BLS use the non-farm numbers to construct their various metrics (including the unemployment figure).
I’m sure your statistical wisdom and experience exceeds mine. I’ve never been, nor do not care to be a statistician.
That said, if elimination of seasonal/cyclical data is the hallmark of accurate longitudinal reporting, why would retail, hospitality, and tourism jobs be included in the analysis? Are these not equally as cyclical as agriculture?
I’m not so sure on this one. Unemployment metrics are based on the “place of residence” figures which, as I understand, do not account for the types of work in which a worker is employed.
These are all excellent questions. I suggest, in all seriousness, you contact the DWD and ask. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answers.
Department of Workforce Development
201 East Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Correct Phil, there were a lot fewer people working in January (reflected in the non-seasonal numbers), but that always happens due to the end of the holiday season and colder weather holding down construction.
But that’s also why the Walker people shouldn’t be breaking out the party hats, because job gains in January is really kind of a tallest midget award- construction and manufacturing are listed as “up” even though there are actually thousands fewer folks working in these professions for Jan.
However, the real story is the unqualified disaster that the 2011 revisions show. It’s a whole lot worse under Fitzwalkerstan than we already knew. (and feel free to use the handy charts, if you want!)
You guys are fun to read.
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