[R] Labour Statistics

Gad Abraham gabraham at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Wed Oct 15 04:40:35 CEST 2008

Max wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> This is not so much of an R question as a statistics question. I 
> currently work for the largest pre employment screening company in 
> Canada. Upper management has noticed that noticed that usually a month 
> or so before any big kind of economic shock happens, that our incoming 
> files (requests for a background check) jump up or down.
> As the company statistician, they've asked me to see if the relationship 
> is strong enough to put together a product that can be sold to any kind 
> of firm or organization (brokerages or any kind of investing firm, 
> federal ministry of finance, statistics canada (like the bureau of stats 
> in the USA), universities etc)
> In Canada on the 10th of every month, statistics canada releases labour 
> statistics for the previous month. The way CFO sees it, *ideally* on the 
> (1st to 10th, something like that) every month, the firm I work for 
> could be releasing data for the rest of the month.
> What I'm trying to figure out is if you were in the position of 
> evaluating the final product for purchase, what kind of information 
> would make the product credible/viable? Summary statistics? Variance 
> covariance matrices? Graphs of the data? Cross Correlation matrices for 
> time series analysis?
> It's frustrating because I can see a noticeable relationship between our 
> file volume and the unemployment rate (in particular,) but I'm not sure 
> how to appropriately frame it in a way that another statistician/modeler 
> would want the data.

Why not start with some simple plots of the relationships between your 
variables? Once you have a feel for the problem, you can look into 
modelling it more formally using a suitable regression model.

Gad Abraham
Dept. CSSE and NICTA
The University of Melbourne
Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
email: gabraham at csse.unimelb.edu.au
web: http://www.csse.unimelb.edu.au/~gabraham

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