Economists augment their understanding of national economic trends by examining state employment data. Preliminary (not-yet-benchmarked) state employment estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) continue to be subject to significant revisions around turning points in the economy. These large revisions occur primarily because the preliminary state estimates are based on a small sample of firms, while subsequent annual benchmark revisions incorporate other BLS data based on a full count from nearly all firms. This article describes our process of applying new benchmarks to payroll job estimates for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on a quarterly basis. By making timelier revisions, we produce more accurate estimates of states' job growth, and we gain additional insights into recent national economic trends.
This article appeared in the Third & Fourth Quarters 2022 issue of Economic Insights. Download and read the full issue.