Posted Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at 1:55 PM
ALFRED is a cool service that lets you see out-of-date economic information, thus letting me make this chart highlighting the importance of today's new economic data.
The lower line shows how many jobs we thought we had in 2012 as of one month ago. The higher line shows how many jobs we now think we had in 2012 in light of the revisions to November and December and the new benchmarking. You can see that it's quite a substantial difference. That in turn may help explain why Barack Obama ran "surprisingly" strongly on Election Day given the weakish state of the economy—it was actually quite a bit stronger than it seemed from the data.