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Wyatt Bell's Blog

Title Insurance Employment Keeps Taking It On the Chin!
by Wyatt Bell | 2012/01/07 |

The latest jobs report shows the insurance sector created 3,300 jobs. But title insurance lost jobs and wages decreased.



Wyatt Bell's Blog ::

Friday's US Job Report disclosed there are 64,900 jobs in the title insurance sector. That is a -4.1% decrease according to the figures redone for November 2011. In other words title insurance jobs are continuing to disappear.

The average wages are now $790.83 weekly. That reflects a double-digit decline of -15.7% according to the BLS numbers.

I would speculate that any argument regarding job loss and the redefinition of the title insurance industry doesn't have the job numbers to be persuasive.

HSBC, the banking giant, laid off 25,000 workers. Borders, when it closed, laid off 10,000 workers. Cisco laid off 6,500 workers.

We're a very small industry!

Insurance News



178 words | 2598 views | 3 comments | log in or register to post a comment

More info on this:

I wasn't aware that the BLS broke employment data down into such narrow categories until I read this.  Once I found out about this, I did a little research.  I put up an article on the subject, available here, and will be putting up a second article, likely tomorrow, for reasons that will be clear if you read the first article.

by Slade Smith | 2012/01/09 | log in or register to post a reply

Real Unadjusted Numbers

One of the distortions or smoothing factors which is interesting is the government touted the creation of 200,000 jobs in December, 2011.

However, if you look at the unadjusted numbers we lost -219,000 jobs.

It's the top line item, Total Nonfarm, in the BLS NonFarm Payroll Data Table B-1:

BLS Table B-1. Nonfarm Employees 

In the adjusted column note the government figures of 131,600 for October, 131,700 for November and 131,900 for December. So the conclusion would be that 300,000 jobs were created between October 1st and December 31st.

If one extrapolates to the "unadjusted" numbers the job creation was 93,000.

An interesting blog that drills into the core numbers is Molly's Middle America.


by Wyatt Bell | 2012/01/10 | log in or register to post a reply


I definitely have problems with your analysis here!

First, a minor error to point out-- the October numbers are for the end of October, so the adjusted numbers say 300,000 jobs created from the end of October to the end of December--not from the beginning of October to the end of December.

The main problem I have with your post: the seasonal adjustments are there for a reason.  You can look at the raw employment number any December in any year, and it will look weak-- if you don't understand the seasonal hiring trends.

The BLS estimate is that 419,000 seasonal jobs ended in December-- see here for the breakdown by industry.  When those seasonal jobs were estimated to have started earlier in 2011, the seasonally adjusted figure for jobs created was less than the number of actual jobs created in those months.  You can go back to the October report, for example, and see that the seasonally adjusted private jobs "created" in October was about 80,000 less than the unadjusted number.  It all evens out in the end, and the adjusted figures are the ones to look at if you want to know whether the economy is actually creating jobs. 

Seasonal jobs come and go, and come again.  If you want to remove that noise from the signal and get to the underlying trend, you must study seasonal job trends and adjust for them-- and that's what the BLS does.  The seasonal adjustments are estimates and therefore are not perfect, but they are much more trustworthy than the "analysis" of most of the people who try to claim they are fraudulent.

Bottom line: if somewhere close to 419,000 seasonal jobs did indeed end in December, and there were only 219,000 fewer jobs at the end of December than at the beginning of December, then the economy did create somewhere around 200,000 jobs in December.

The Molly's Middle America looks to be next to useless. Some of the numnbers bear no relation to the actual BLS data, adjusted or unadjusted.  I have no idea how Molly is calculating her numbers-- there is no information on the blog, the blog says "Specifics will be provided upon request; please email me or leave a comment."  Well, that is not good enough for this Middle American, especially since they are implying that the BLS numbers are vastly overstating job creation. 

I recommend CalculatedRisk for analysis of the monthly jobs reports.  He won't waste your time bombarding you with figures but he will let you know if the seasonal adjustments in data lead to headline figures that are truly misleading.

by Slade Smith | 2012/01/10 | log in or register to post a reply
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