How Business Insider 'Blew' Its Big Call On Non-Farm Payrolls

Head In Hands Defeat Soccer Manchester EnglandThe feeling is mutual.

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

This morning when nonfarm payrolls data came across the wires, there were no cheers in the Business Insider office. Jeers, heckles, perhaps a few sighs, but no cheers.

Just two days earlier, we made a call based on some pretty good data: nonfarm payrolls would be huge. 

And they were. Just not as good as we forecast. In fact of the 94 economists polled by Bloomberg, we ranked number 92. Better than Landesbank Berlin, but worse than, oh, lets just say a few others. 

We projected 285,000 new jobs. Consensus was for 210,000. The report showed 227,000.

Caroline Vanderoef called it on Thursday afternoon:


Photo: Twitter

But maybe we weren’t so wrong

The data we looked to, which dated back to January 2002, was all based on final results — not preliminary readings like today’s data.

Over the past six months, the Bureau of labour Statistics has revised nonfarm payrolls up by 52,800 on average. In today’s February report, it added 61,000 jobs to the December and January reports.

Add that comp in to ours, and you get pretty close: 279,800. If that pans out, there will be only two firms closer to the actual figure: Societe Generale and IDEAglobal. 

I have to agree with Ed Bradford’s line:


Photo: Twitter


But if I’m out of a job before that next revision — which our Deputy Editor Joe Weisenthal has threatened — the next report might not vindicate my high estimate.


 Regardless, Business Insider will be back at the table next month.

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