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Spurious seasonal patterns and excess smoothness in the BLS local area unemployment
State level unemployment statistics are some of the most important and widely used data sources for local analysts and public officials to gauge the health of their state?s economy. We find statistically significant seasonal patterns in the state level seasonally adjusted Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We find that the pro-rata factors used in the benchmarking process can invoke spurious seasonal patterns in this data. We also find that the Henderson 13 filter used by the BLS to smooth the seasonally adjusted data may reduce ...
Seasonal adjustment of state and metro ces jobs data
Hybrid time series data often require special care in estimating seasonal factors. Series such as the state and metro area Current Employment Statistics produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are composed of two different source series that often have two different seasonal patterns. In this paper we address the process to test for differing seasonal patterns within the hybrid series. We also discuss how to apply differing seasonal factors to the separate parts of the hybrid series. Currently the BLS simply juxtaposes the two different sets of seasonal factors at the transition ...