Puerto Rico and New Jersey may have played with the numbers recently to put a better gloss on their weak finances. They seem to be “doping” the data.
For example, Puerto Rico (with assistance from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) has revised six years of employment data to cast a positive upward revision to its economy. This had spillover effects on the broad economic measures of the island. From Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank:
The payroll employment benchmark revision not only impacted the average level of payroll employment, it also changed its average growth rate for previous years.
Notice that from a 0.7 percent decline during FY2013, the revised figures now reflect a 0.7 percent increase; and from a year-to-date (July-December) contraction of 4.3 percent in FY2014, the revised numbers show a year-to-date drop of 2.4 percent.
In addition to the revision of the 21 months prior to January 2014, the revision included changes for December 2006 (+2,500 jobs), December 2007 (+2,200 jobs), December 2009 (+13,200 jobs), and December 2010 (+6,600 jobs).