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Why You Should Never Take The Initial Monthly Jobs Report Seriously

Earlier today I posted a commentary on Some Stunning Demographic Trends in Employment. In a footnote I commented on the unreliability of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment data for Nonfarm Payroll Employment, which included a link to historic revisions back to 1979 on the BLS website. I subsequently received a few emails requesting a chart to illustrate the changes.

Here is a first pass at such a visualization. I took the data since January 2000 and plotted the change from the first to third estimate for each month through December 2012, the most recent month for which we have three revisions.

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