The Challenge of Measuring Economic Activity

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Determining how the economy is performing is surprisingly difficult. COVID-19 made economists’ jobs even harder, requiring them to develop entirely new methods to measure trends in the labor market.

The Employment Situation report is a barometer of the overall health of the U.S labor market, and is heavily relied upon by the stock market. Recently, there have been remarkable revisions to the numbers they report. In November 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) initially reported 210,000 new jobs. The following month, this was updated to 249,000. In January 2022, this number was updated again to 649,000!

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