The survey is done every month during the week in which the 12th of the month falls. That’s when the numbers are collected, so the actual reporting period was three weeks ago. The rest of the time is spent in compiling and adjusting for seasonal and other factors.
No state can blame Sandy for reporting late.
(Seriously, thanks, good point!)
Something someone in private industry would do in an afternoon with a spreadsheet.
It's what? Maybe a dozen data points from each of all 57 states*, plus a calender date, and maybe half a dozen "other factors"
* 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Samoa, Northern Marianas, Gitmo...