To understand the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Report covering December 2005 , it’s useful to consider which metrics show up in the post publication coverage.
What factors do those most knowledgeable select to make their case? How do they use them? What comparisons do they make or suggest? What time periods?
Of course we find the headline numbers like unemployment percentage appearing in most articles. What you may find somewhat surprising if you sample the coverage (e.g. by using the list compiled by Brad Delong), is how each commentator selects their own favorite factors to tell their story and how different these turn out to be from each other.
Collectively, combining all metrics gives a breadth of coverage that seems to go well beyond any of the individual articles. You will also see a hodge-podge that may make you wonder whether there might not be a better way. We will have more to say about this in future posts. How do the factors listed here compare with the ones used in the coverage that you may have read.
M01 Monthly non farm payroll job growth for the previous month, seasonally adjusted in thousands
M02 The unemployment rate (percentage) for the previous month, seasonally adjusted with two significant digits precision. Also, graphs showing the unemployment rate for the past 3 years, 7 years, and for other time periods
M03 The Employment Population Ratio since 1948 (graph)
M04 The seasonally adjusted percentage of unemployed plus marginally attached plus discouraged works since 1995 (graph).
M05 The seasonally adjusted percentage of those unemployed for 15 weeks or longer since 1995 (graph)
M06 Seasonally adjusted Labor Force Participation Rate
M07 Hours worked per week
M08 Dollars per hour
M09 Dollars per week
M10 Number of jobs created in previous month in Manufacturing
M11 Number of jobs created in previous month in Construction
M12 Percentage marginally attached
M13 Percentage part time for economic reasons
M14 Average unemployment percentage for the full year 2005
M15 Average unemployment percentage for the full year 2004
M16 New unemployment claims for previous month
M17 Lowest number of new unemployment claims in the past 5 years
M18 Number of jobs created in previous month in Retail
M20 Number of discouraged workers
M21 Household Survey total jobs created for the month
M22 Payroll survey total number of jobs created for the full year 2005
M23 Household survey total number of jobs created for the full year 2005
M24 Number of jobs created in previous month in Food Services
M25 Number of jobs created in previous month in Professional Services
M26 Number of jobs created in previous month in Business Services
M27 Number of jobs created in previous month in Health Care
M28 Job outsourcing
M29 Percentage of jobs created for the month that were in the Services sector
M30 Percentage of all current jobs that are in the Services sector
M31 Number of jobs created in past year in Health and Education
M32 Number of jobs created in past year in Leisure and Hospitality
M33 Number of jobs created in past year in Trade and Transport
M34 Number of jobs created in past year Finance
M35 Number of jobs created in past year in Local Teaching
M36 The number of people who have dropped out of the workforce
M37 Percentage of “McJobs”
M38 Percentage of “good jobs”
M39 Percentage of full time jobs
M40 Aggregate income growth for all employees
M41 The BLS U-6 unemployment rate
M42 The BLS U-3 unemployment rate
M43 Long term discouraged workers
M44 Number of people with at least one job (household survey)
M45 Total number of payroll jobs created in the month as a result of the "birth/death" rate
M46 Percentage of total payroll jobs created during the month that resulted from "birth/death" calculation.
M47 Gross domestic income (GDI)
M48 Tax revenue from employment
M49 Help wanted advertising index (print + internet)
M50 Monster employment index
M51 Conference Board Help Wanted Index
What other factors did you see?
Which do you think are most important?
What important ones are missing from this list?
What time frame(s) do you like most?