Over on Twitter, one of people’s favorite ways to talk about the Employment Situation Report is to use the hashtag #NFPGuesses. Over at Bloomberg, the team collects the numbers guessed under that hashtag and uses it to create a “Twitter consensus” prediction. Below we show the history of the #NFPGuesses estimate versus the actual Nonfarm Payrolls print, dating back to the start of 2014. We take the value for the Bloomberg series of #NFPGuesses for day before NFP to avoid noise from the morning of the report. As shown, Twitter hasn’t been especially accurate in guessing the NFP print.
But how do the folks tweeting compare with Wall Street economists? It’s bad news for Finance Twitter. As shown, Wall Street on average misses estimates by 3,000 over the last 16 months; that is, they typically guess 3,000 too optimistic. The median difference between the street’s best guess and the actual print comes in at 7,000; too pessimistic. The stats for Twitter aren’t as good, with average difference of 15,000 and median difference of 23,000, both too pessimistic. While we’re usually proponents of the wisdom of crowds, in this case it appears that Wall Street usually has more reason to proclaim #NailedIt than the collective wisdom of finance tweeters.
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