Monthly job data volatile

Monthly job data volatile

Changes in the way jobs are tracked makes the monthly data volatile, economists say.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics took over state employment estimates in March 2011, Beleiciks confirmed, transferring the responsibility from state regional economists to Washington, D.C. analysts.

The switch has increased the swings of the month-to-month numbers, [University of Oregon economist Tim] Duy said. For example, original estimates of 6,400 job losses in February were tweaked in March to show a loss of 2,800 positions.

"If you look at the whole of the data, I think it suggests that we're doing a little better than the average state," state economist Mark McMullen said. "But it's still not time to get the pom-poms out by any means."


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