Margin of Error on Seasonal BLS Payroll Reports Almost as High as Value

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During the worst days of the recession, the margin of error for the BLS’ seasonal total nonfarm payroll report was twice the normal rate: up to 170,000, which is nearly the size of the value for a number of months. The recession caused this error of seasonality by assuming that people who lost their jobs over the recession winter were normal, seasonal job losses and perpetuated that for the past three years–the number of years’ worth of data used to track seasonality.

–from The Atlantic

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