Friday , April 19 2019

Data Sources

Summary:
Recently, in response to my posting a graph of the most recent nonfarm payroll data, Reader CoRev wrote: Can you provide the raw data used? This request came despite the fact that the graph states explicitly: Source: BLS March 2019 employment situation release, and author’s calculations. In other words, despite my compulsive documentation, people still want to be led to the data. To illustrate how to get the data, note that in this case, one could go directly to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) website, or just go to the St. Louis Fed’s FRED database. Most data series that one might be interested in are there. In general, if one doesn’t want to go to FRED, or one can’t find the specific series there, go to the specific website. If BLS, then go to http://www.bls.gov If BEA, then go to

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Recently, in response to my posting a graph of the most recent nonfarm payroll data, Reader CoRev wrote:

Can you provide the raw data used?

This request came despite the fact that the graph states explicitly:

Source: BLS March 2019 employment situation release, and author’s calculations.

In other words, despite my compulsive documentation, people still want to be led to the data. To illustrate how to get the data, note that in this case, one could go directly to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) website, or just go to the St. Louis Fed’s FRED database. Most data series that one might be interested in are there.

In general, if one doesn’t want to go to FRED, or one can’t find the specific series there, go to the specific website.

Suppose one wanted an earlier vintage of a data series, then one should definitely first consult the St. Louis Fed’s ALFRED database.

DBnomics provides a gateway to several European websites.

Hence, for many issues, there is little excuse that one can’t access the data, now that the above links have been provided. Just sayin’.

Menzie Chinn
He is Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

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