Insights and Perspectives

Insights and Perspectives


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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Current Population Survey (CPS) report for February 2021 on Friday, March 5th. Geographic Solutions, Inc. (GSI), has produced forecasts of the two most closely watched macroeconomic data series from the report: the monthly change in employment and the monthly unemployment rate.

Modest job growth returned in January (+49,000) after a negative outcome in December 2020 (-227,000). Despite the return to pre-pandemic levels of job changes, the month-to-month volatility has not seen a commensurate decline since September 2020 when job creation was 716,000. Similar volatility with diminished employment growth means that the percentage error is expected to be higher in the next few months until wide distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines sets the economy back on a strong recovery pattern. 

GSI derives its employment forecast from internal data on job openings, job severances, and the number of applications for unemployment benefits filed on GSI state client sites. The forecast uses unemployment claims data from the Department of labor. As seen in the chart below, we predict job growth in February of 273,000.

Portrayed in the table below is the 6.4% unemployment rate that GSI forecasts for February, a slight uptick from 6.3% in January. The unemployment rate forecast used the same indicators as the employment forecast.

 After the release of the report, GSI will post a full analysis of the results.

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