Trust the BLS, or Indeed.com?

We like the monthly BLS reports here at MediaJobsDaily, but there may be an upstart player in town, cheezhead reports.

Paul Hamaker of the Birmingham Examiner tracked job listings through Indeed.com, and found that the “number of jobs available in last 7 days” was pretty accurate when compared to the next month’s BLS report.

Hamaker writes:

  1. Indeed predicted an increase in hiring at least two weeks prior to the Labor Department report for the same time frame in May 2009
  2. Indeed allows a broader spectrum inspection than the Labor Department data because it is searchable in boolean logic
  3. The correlation between Indeed.com and the Labor Department statistics for the same time frame has an r value of 0.97. For those who do not know about r values this is good correlation, very good in fact.
  4. A probable savings to the taxpayer would be farming out the statistical reporting to Indeed.com as their data is just as predictive as the Labor Department, more timely, and it is free.

Nobody’s seriously suggesting #4—or are we?