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Author:Hamins-Puertolas, Adrian 

Discussion Paper
Tracking the Labor Market with "Big Data"

In our research, we explore the information content of the ADP microdata alone by producing an estimate of employment changes independent from the BLS payroll series as well as from other data sources.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2019-09-20-1

Working Paper
Tracking Labor Market Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Preliminary Assessment

Many traditional official statistics are not suitable for measuring high-frequency developments that evolve over the course of weeks, not months. In this paper, we track the labor market effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with weekly payroll employment series based on microdata from ADP. These data are available essentially in real-time, and allow us to track both aggregate and industry effects. Cumulative losses in paid employment through April 4 are currently estimated at 18 million; just during the two weeks between March 14 and March 28 the U.S. economy lost about 13 million paid jobs. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-030

Working Paper
Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context

Lags in official data releases have forced economists and policymakers to leverage "alternative" or "non-traditional" data to measure business exit resulting from the COVID- 19 pandemic. We first review official data on business exit in recent decades to place the alternative measures of exit within historical context. For the U.S., business exit is countercyclical and fairly common, with about 7.5 percent of firms exiting annually in recent years. Both the high level and the cyclicality of exit are driven by very small firms and establishments. We then explore a range of alternative measures ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-089r1

Working Paper
Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context

Given lags in official data releases, economists have studied "alternative data" measures of business exit resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Such measures are difficult to understand without historical context, so we review official data on business exit in recent decades. Business exit is common in the U.S., with about 7.5 percent of firms exiting annually in recent years, and is countercyclical (particularly recently). Both the high level and the cyclicality of exit are driven by very small firms. We explore a range of alternative measures and indicators of business exit, including ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-089

Working Paper
Using Payroll Processor Microdata to Measure Aggregate Labor Market Activity

We show that high-frequency private payroll microdata can help forecast labor market conditions. Payroll employment is perhaps the most reliable real-time indicator of the business cycle and is therefore closely followed by policymakers, academia, and financial markets. Government statistical agencies have long served as the primary suppliers of information on the labor market and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That said, sources of ?big data? are becoming increasingly available through collaborations with private businesses engaged in commercial activities that record ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-005

Working Paper
Improving the Accuracy of Economic Measurement with Multiple Data Sources: The Case of Payroll Employment Data

This paper combines information from two sources of U.S. private payroll employment to increase the accuracy of real-time measurement of the labor market. The sources are the Current Employment Statistics (CES) from BLS and microdata from the payroll processing firm ADP. We briefly describe the ADP-derived data series, compare it to the BLS data, and describe an exercise that benchmarks the data series to an employment census. The CES and the ADP employment data are each derived from roughly equal-sized samples. We argue that combining CES and ADP data series reduces the measurement error ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-065

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