Forget Friday the 13th
Fear Saturday the 12th.
Let me explain why. Everybody knows that the Labor Department’s jobs report comes out on the first Friday of the month unless Friday is the 1st. (I always assumed it was the first Friday after the first Thursday, or some clever definition like that.) Accordingly, it is easy to manage my Derek Jeter Syndrome (when asked by Vanity Fair what was his greatest fear he answered “Being unprepared”) and plan on jobs day.
Tomorrow, Friday the 1st of June (the very freaking first day!) the jobs report is coming out and I am in the emotional fetal position. What the heck happened?
In a panic I flew to my favorite web page, “2011-12 Press Release Dates for National Current Employment Statistics” where I learned to my astonishment:
The Employment Situation report is released on the third Friday after the conclusion of the reference week, i.e., the week which includes the 12th of the month.
In May the 12th was a Saturday, and three Fridays later lands squarely on June 1. #$%^&* Saturday the 12th.
My survival instincts having been aroused I realized I had to plan for this. A little thinking yielded Holtz-Eakin’s Lemma:
The jobs report can only come out on the 1st if the 12th falls on a Saturday and the month has 31 days.
Now I was onto something. I went to my second favorite web page http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/freq-tbl.txt which told me – obviously – that the 12th falls on a Saturday only 687 times every 400 years. Whew.
Since only 5 of the 12 months have 31 days that means only 286 times (roughly – one is allowed to approximate in treating Derek Jeter Syndrome as precision requires meds) will the dreaded jobs report 1st occur.
0.715625 times a year, nothing to worry about ….. until February 1, 2013.
I hate Saturday the 12th.