Indiana DWD vs United States BLS



UPDATE 2-21-14: Indiana DWD reports numbers directly from the BLS, so any discrepancy implied below occurs directly with BLS, not the Indiana DWD. As such, the post below has become too butchered. Please refer to my updated post that I'll post later today.


On February 13, 2014, our local paper published that Decatur County, Indiana added 1190 jobs in 2013. The article sourced information from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development which, "administers the state's employment and training programs, as well as the unemployment insurance system." On the surface, most would say "Wow...that fantastic...hope this keeps up." Personally, being a skeptic to the core, I started looking further because I didn't trust the numbers. I was hoping to find that my skepticism was unwarranted. What I found, though, is a discrepancy in the employment numbers from the Indiana DWD and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Before going any further. This post has NOTHING to do with the author or the paper, as they simply cited other sources.

Through confirmation from an email I received from the author, the data sourced in the original article came from this dataset published by the Indiana DWD. Again the article cites that Decatur County, Indiana gained 1190 jobs in 2013. This source actually says we gained 1214 jobs in 2013. Here's the table.

I'm not sure why those numbers(1190 and 1214) don't jive, but they are close, nonetheless.

But, I found something interesting over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, specifically in the section about Local Area Unemployment. It's such a discrepancy, I have to ask, "whose numbers are right, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development or the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics?"

The following table gathers information from the Labor force data by county, 2012 annual averages and Labor force data by county, not seasonally adjusted, latest 14 months.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Numbers

Based upon these numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a decrease in the labor force by 146, a decrease in the number of employed by 89, and a decrease in the number of unemployed by 57.

So, it begs the question. If the number of "employed" decreased by 89 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, how did Decatur County Employers add "1,190 jobs in 2013" as used by the Indiana DWD?

Did Decatur County gain 1214 jobs, 1190 jobs, or did they lose 89 jobs. Can all three numbers be correct? At the top of the "Labor Force Estimates" from the Indiana DWD, it states..."FOR USE IN ALLOCATING FEDERAL FUNDS"...does this mean we deserve more or less federal funds based on the numbers being provided? Did I just become a target by sharing this information?

UPDATE: Corresponding with the DWD, I found out that Indiana DWD reports numbers that come directly from the BLS. Also, my assumptions on using the "2012 Annual Averages" from above were misguided. They are not a point in time, they are an "annual average". That correction needed to be made.

The source for the 1190 jobs still remains questionable. I've emailed the DWD, and asked where they got that number from the BLS. I'll keep you posted.

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