Journal Article

Solving the mystery of the disappearing January blip in state employment data


Abstract: Frank Berger and Keith Phillips propose a new two-step method of seasonally adjusting state Current Employment Statistics (CES) data produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This method, first proposed in the July/August 1993 issue of Southwest Economy, recently was adopted by the BLS to seasonally adjust the broadest industry groupings of the state employment series. With this new adjustment procedure, the state employment data should be smoother and better reflect trend-cycle movements than if a more traditional seasonal adjustment method were used. ; The article finds that forty-six states suffer a break in their seasonal pattern toward the end of the data series. The authors explain the reason for the break and describe a procedure to adjust for it. Although the BLS is currently using this procedure for states at the broadest level of industry detail, analysts who want to seasonally adjust the state employment data at a finer level of industry detail should find the authors' description of the process useful. Also, analysts who seek to seasonally adjust the CES data for metropolitan areas may find the two-step method helpful.

Keywords: Employment (Economic theory);

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Economic and Financial Policy Review

Publication Date: 1994

Issue: Q II

Pages: 53-62