February 11, 2016

Feds may change job numbers methods

The federal government has responded to Wisconsin’s request to change the way monthly job numbers are compiled. State Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson says the request was made after U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data series yielded “misleading job estimates.”

The issue was spotlighted a few months back when the Walker administration claimed Wisconsin added jobs while the BLS reported job loss. Later conclusions vindicated Walker’s claim.

Newson then requested the federal agency go back to its previous practice of using three-quarters of unemployment data rather than only two-quarters data, a practice implemented last year. He says the BLS told him an internal review is taking place about potential changes.

The DWD head says it’s vital that schools, policy makers and businesses have accurate employment data to make proper decisions that could affect economic growth.

AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (1:04)

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