Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Labor market indicators

I was going through a few to supply the background section of this research brief with some basic naitonal numbers. Below are three unlabeled labor market indicators from the BLS.

1. Can you figure out which indicator each is?
2. Which do you think is the best for talking about the state of the labor market, and why?
3. What is the problem with the two you didn't choose?

I know my views on this, and I'm curious about yours. I'll be working on the computer all day so if identifying them is an obstacle I can do that, but identification from inferences about how the trends move with respect to each other can contribute to the answers in important ways.


  1. I would guess that the second in municipal employment (or maybe simply government employment), the first is non-farm employment (or maybe just private employment). The last is total employment. Of course, when I say "employment" you all shout "JOBS". Ok, just kidding.

    When I say employment, I mean total payroll figures, not any implications of percentages. In other words, nominal figures of payrolls (with the balance accounted for in those who have permanently left the workforce).

    If I am wrong, that's ok, I often am (wrong). However, if I am right, I wonder what Bartleby thinks about such a state. Hmm?

    1. Excuse me, my description of the first two should be reversed. I forgot the downtrend in government employment started after the stimulus.


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