The upward move that you see on the chart and in the table is mostly the result of the problems we had last year depressing the denominator in this ratio. This is a good time to mention that the interpretation of any large move in any ratio requires that you spend some time with the components of that ratio.

Because we have a ratio go up as the result of a gain in the numerator, we can also have a ratio go up because of a decline in the denominator. And, that can be the difference between “good” news and “not so good news”. What we see here is a case of the latter. While it is nice to have this ratio go up, we have to discount the news because it was based on the bad news we had last year.

We will have more to say about this (fair warning) when we get to the Household survey where ratios play a larger role than they do in the Establishment numbers.

Subscribe now!