Alternative Measures of NFP

Philadelphia Fed’s early benchmark indicates NFP employment is on lower trajectory than indicated by the CES measure, by about 600 thousands. How does this change the picture?

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment from establishment survey (blue), from Philadelphia Fed early benchmark (tan), from household survey adjusted to NFP concept (green), and QCEW covered employment seasonally adjusted by author using X-13 (red), all in thousands. Source: BLS via FRED, Philadelphia Fed, BLS, BLS (QCEW), and author’s calculations.

For 2022, y/y growth was 2% using the official BLS measure, and 1.6% using the Philadelphia Fed post-benchmark measure (it’s 0.5% using the sum of states; however, the Philadelphia Fed cautions against using this measure). So, the early benchmark suggests a less “hot” labor market, but one still growing.

Note that in context, this does not change the overall picture of the business cycle.

Figure 1: Nonfarm Payroll employment from Philadelphia Fed early benchmark (bold dark blue), civilian employment (orange), industrial production (red), personal income excluding current transfers in Ch.2017$ (bold green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2017$ (black), consumption in Ch.2017$ (light blue), and monthly GDP in Ch.2017$ (pink), GDP, 3rd release (blue bars), all log normalized to 2021M11=0. Source: BLS via FRED, Federal Reserve, BEA 2023Q4 2nd release, S&P Global Market Insights (nee Macroeconomic Advisers, IHS Markit) (3/1/2024 release), and author’s calculations.

You can compare to the picture with the official NFP series here.



5 thoughts on “Alternative Measures of NFP

    1. Moses Herzog

      I’ll believe it when it’s passed—– and what about the Senate MD?!?!?!? I hope Menzie and you will forgive me for using this language—but really in the last 45 years, am I wrong??—–Don’t be a PUSSY Democrat MD and assume things that are NOT there.

        1. Ivan

          Either Putin is getting soft in his old age, or he is running really short on admirals. One window closes and another one opens.

Comments are closed.