New Jobs Report Contradicts Previous Data

By Cristina Quinn

April 18, 2012
BOSTON — It looks like the job market in 2011 wasn’t as bad as we thought. A new report shows that Massachusetts added 38,900 jobs in the first nine months of 2011.
MassBenchmarks published its findings on April 18. The figure is in stark contrast to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ revised estimate released last month, which reported that 2,300 jobs were added during that time period.
Michael Goodman, professor at UMass Dartmouth and co-editor of MassBenchmarks, said that the sampling model the Bureau of Labor Statistics used can produce statistical errors, though it is unusual at such a large scale.
“The initial revisions that they released in March were partially based on a sample of records, whereas ours are based on more of a complete set of records and is more reliable,” Goodman said.
Goodman said although these findings mean that Massachusetts had a relatively strong year compared to the rest of the country, we're not out of the woods yet: “We still have a long road of recovery here in Massachusetts and nationally, but at least we can understand where we are and our policymakers and business leaders can make more informed decisions now that they have a better assessment of our recent economic history."
MassBenchmarks is a journal published by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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