Economic Picture Looks Better

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its revisions of the Establishment Survey data, and the picture painted by the latest figures is considerably different from that described by the numbers used last month, according to RDLB Inc., a Chicago-area economic research and management consulting firm.

Just about all the month-to-month changes in 2006 were revised upward, in some cases dramatically so. The cumulative effect of those changes was to raise the December level of total non-farm payrolls by a seasonally-adjusted 933,000 persons.

“What this means is that the economy was generating jobs at a pace somewhat in excess of what the FOMC and the rest of us had been looking at,” RDLB said in a release. “It also means that the year-over-year rate of change in payrolls was considerably higher throughout 2006 than had previously been thought. A significant difference, one less suggestive on an imminent economic flame out.

“A look at the two major components of non-farm payrolls revealed that the 933,000 gain in total payrolls was split into a 219,000 rise in goods-producing employment and a 714,000 increase among service-providers.”

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