Just how amazing were the US payroll numbers released on Friday?Many months ago I began tracking the Automatic Data Processing payroll numbers in addition to those from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in order to satisfy those conspiracy theorist commenters who just don't trust the government's data. For November 2009, ADP and the BLS disagree by over 150,000 job losses.
So amazing they’re verging on the (perish the thought) unbelievable, according to some analysts.
The consensus forecast among analysts for the November job loss had been -130,000, with even the relatively optimistic and sometime-clairvoyant economists at Goldman Sachs forecasting -100,000. The official data showed a fall of just 11,000 — about 90 per cent fewer than the consensus estimate.
Here's my graph of BLS data for this recession:
Here's my graph of ADP data for this recession:
Update: I just noticed that the BLS measures both private and government payrolls while ADP only measures private payrolls. However, even just comparing private payrolls, the disparity is roughly the same. ADP says there were 169,000 private nonfarm job losses in November, while the BLS says there were only 18,000 private nonfarm job losses—a 9-fold difference.