Private providers fill the void of the federal data pipeline

The website to the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis announces it will be unavailable until further notice due to the Federal government shutdown on October 1, 2013. 

If you were anxiously awaiting data from the Producer Price Index this morning, there's bad news. It's not coming out. It’s part of a whole slew of government data that companies use to make hiring and other decisions, data that’s going uncollected or unreported during the shutdown. That leaves analysts, executives, and journalists looking at the patchwork of numbers left behind.

ADP is one of the country’s largest payroll processors, which isn’t headline material, but the company says its media coverage is up 75 percent. That’s because it provides a monthly estimate for private sector job growth, which helped fill the void of last week’s missing jobs report.

“We are not doing this for money,” says Ahu Yildirmaz, senior director of the ADP Research Institute. “We are just providing public information because we do have access to this big data.”

 The ‘big data’ is payroll data from 400,000 companies.

The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas provides layoff data -- like ADP’s, it's free. We asked CEO John Challenger if increased demand is a benefit.

“It creates interest and attention and I suppose we live in an attention-oriented environment today,” he says, “But other than that, probably not.”

Still, if you're looking for a market opportunity, folks could use an alternate Industrial Production Index, since the Fed canceled its report, originally due next week.

About the author

Kate Davidson is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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