Job Gains in March: An Aberration?

Coming after several months of flat or falling job growth, the large jump in employment in March – up 82,300 – has prompted concerns that it could be a statistical aberration, due to sampling error rather than a real change.

This could indeed be the case. However, the Standard Error for the national estimate of employment is 28,600 – much lower than the total increase.   

I thought the jump could be due to some combination of normal seasonal adjustment and an exceptionally warm March in much of the country, but the non-seasonally-adjusted jump in employment was 84,000.

So it seems chances are that we did indeed see a pretty big jump in jobs in March. Whether it lasts is an entirely different question.


  • Any chance that the stats were jukes?

  • Juked? I mean


    Past…pass it on….
    The Ontario NDP have the balance of power…if you wanted them to say do a massive jobs, jobs, jobs budget in Ontario….instead of job killing cuts…

  • Pretend this is the American jobs report, and a similar outcome would be like saying there was a 900,000 employment gain for the month.

    Do you think the American establishment would believe it, or would they suggest errors and expect a revision? I am thinking the latter.

    Standard errors are a great defence against sampling errors, in a properly functioning sampling plan. However the SE does nothing for non-sampling errors, which are more of a threat than a Sampling error.

  • probably off in your view?

  • It is the trend that matters, and my best advice for this month- does this represent an inflection point, i.e. will we see a trending upward, or is it a blip?

  • Thanks

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