Nice weather we’re having? Seasons and jobs

When macroeconomic data such as today’s employment report are released, we often focus on seasonally adjusted numbers.  Seasonally adjusted employment numbers smooth through changes in employment that are judged to be part of some annual cycle such as the jump in retail employment every year as the Christmas buying season ramps up.  Of course, there is no magic wand that allows the Bureau of Labor Statistics to turn the raw numbers into numbers that leave out seasonal effects.  In recent research, Jonathan Wright has argued for a change in the way that the jobs data are adjusted.  He argues for a methods that would tend to deliver a less volatile estimate of the importance of seasons. In a blog post at the implications of this research for Friday’s jobs report are discussed. Justin Wolfers also discusses Jonathan’s work in the New York Times.  Have a look, and enjoy the nice fall weather.