Aug 24, 2022 - Economy & Business

A brand-new jobs report

Illustration of a torn hundred dollar bill revealing binary code beneath
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Next Wednesday, August 31, is a huge day in the statistics world: It will see the release of a new dataset that is likely to add a lot of richness and subtlety to how economists — including Federal Reserve board members — understand the labor market.

Why it matters: For years, the monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been alone in hitting the sweet spot between timeliness and accuracy. Now, payrolls services provider ADP has put together a new monthly report that it hopes will rival the BLS release on both fronts.

How it works: The ADP report will be based on the payroll transactions of more than 25 million U.S. workers, including detailed pay data for about 10 million individual workers who have held the same job for more than a year.

  • It will give week-by-week employment data rather than the monthly data in the BLS report, as well as pay growth data by industry, business establishment size, U.S. region, gender, and age.

The big picture: Historically, the ADP report was aimed at traders, rather than economists. It was a black box, designed to mimic the BLS numbers as closely as possible. The new report, designed with input from Stanford researchers, is designed to be a whole parallel data trove.

The bottom line: While the report will be keenly anticipated every month, next week's release is the really big one, because it will come with 12 years of week-by-week historical data.

  • That could end up changing our understanding of U.S. labor market trends in profound and important ways.

Go deeper: Felix talked to Stanford's Erik Brynjolfsson about the new report last month.

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