Today’s fireworks +321,000 jobs number, which smashed expectations for +230,000, is probably too low. And it’s going to be a long time before we know with any accuracy how many jobs were actually created in November.
Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Sheperdson wrote in a note on Thursday that “whatever you think really happened to November payrolls, you need to temper your forecast for the initial print by about 70K.” The median revision between the first number released and the third for the November jobs report has been +71,000, he says.
If that is the case today, then the real number of jobs created in the US this month was very, very close to 392,000.
“[B]earing in mind the consistent tendency for hefty upward revisions to Nov data in recent years, the startling Nov print in due course likely will be even stronger,” Shepherdson wrote in an email minutes ago.
Here’s a look at the history of revisions.