Two major reasons ADP vs NFP numbers have been so different.

Let’s compare the two surveys that show employment, ADP and NFP. I too was interested in why there can be a discrepancy between the two. So I did a little searching and came up with two major differences.

Survey size:

ADP surveys “over 23-24 million” and NFP at least 2x larger (ADP goes back and forth between the 23 and 24 million number, maybe they should get an editor and not datestamp their documents ie REVISED_METHODOLOGY_DEC_2008.pdf).

Private Sector Jobs:

ADP does not include government jobs which according to the BLS is has been declining since 2008.

Employment in government continued to trend down over the month (-39,000). Federal
employment declined by 14,000 in June. Employment in both state government and local
government continued to trend down over the month and has been falling since the
second half of 2008.

To summarize ADP has a small sample size and does not include government employment. I guess the good news is that our government is getting smaller and some private sector jobs are coming back. The market did not seem to like today’s numbers as we sold off 20 handles but it is early.

Update: The 7-9x is a guess on sample size, the point of the post was that because they are measured differently there will be different results. The stream lite up like it was a big surprise and it should not have because variables are different.

The market recovered.

Update Two: I was wrong at least according to a 2001 document the BLS measures 47 million. http://www.bls.gov/lau/lauhvse.htm H/t @mbusigin

Sources: http://www.adpemploymentreport.com/PDF/REVISED_METHODOLOGY_DEC_2008.pdf

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

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  • That means the BLS had a 57K gain in private sector jobs, that’s still a far cry from ADP’s 157K.  

    • The point I was trying to make, subtly as to not enrage the masses,  is why would anyone think NFP and ADP were related?  I kept to the simplest of factors.

      • or why either of them are related to reality?

        • Yes that is the bigger question.

4 Responses to Two major reasons ADP vs NFP numbers have been so different.

  1. TraderScott says:

    That means the BLS had a 57K gain in private sector jobs, that’s still a far cry from ADP’s 157K.  

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