"Jobless laims unchanged last week at 351,000"
That is the media headline this morning, as the weekly rreport on new unemployment claims was released (as usual on Thursday morning). As readers of this blog know, that headline is an OUTRIGHT LIE, repeated every single week.
On an apple-to-apples basis, new unemplyment claims likely ROSE 3,000 last week. Oh, statistically, that is really "unchanged", but hahat is the other LIE in the way these ESTIMATES (not exact numbers) arae reported. They are, in fact, rreported as exact numbers, when they are really SEASONALY ADJUSTED estimates. The reason that the headline quoted is an obvious, outright lie is that even the seasonally adjusted ESTIMATE is REVISED next week. Thus, the number REPORTED last week was 348,000, and this blog has informed you 9long ago) that the initially reported number is usually revised UPWARD by 3,000 or 4,000. As usual, this blog's PREDICTION was EXACTLY right, as the 348,000 initially reported last week as the number of new unemplyment claims for the previous week, was REVISED to the 351,000. The only PROPER statistical comparison is to compare the INITIALLY REPORTED numbers, since the pattern of REVISINO is so consistent. Thus, you MUST compare tis week's initially reported 351,000 with last week's initially reported 348,000: a RISE of 3,000 (subject to revision next week, but that is the only proper statistical way to do it (again, when the upward revision is so consistent from week to week).
You thik this is bad!!!! What the Bureau of Labor Statistics does with the MONTHLY emplyment numbers (unemplyment numbers as weell) is a CRIME. This January, and every recent January, the Labor Department has revised (substantially) the MEHODOLOGY of calculating the monthly emplyment numbers. This means that yyou CANNOTA compare December's numbers with January's numbers, and can't even compare LAST YEAR'S numbers with this year's numbers (compariang last jJanuary, for example, with this Januray). Those monthly numbers have become basically a joke.
Now this 351,000 number broke the "trnd" of several recent weeks of an improving number. Still, as this blog has told lyou, the WEEKLY number is fairly meaningless. It is only OVER TIME that these weekly numbers on new unemplyment claims have any meaning. Now in context, OVER TIME--realizing that this weekly number is a FALLIBLE ESTIMATE--teh 351,000 number, even with the expected REVCSIIN next week to 354,000, ias actually a fairly good numbe.r It is good enough to keept he four-week avergage going down. No, it is not an OUTSTANDING number, and really only SLIGHTLY better than numbers last February. But it is not a bad number.
But see the previous article. What we don't know is whether last year's PATTERN will REPEAT itself again, especailly in view of what is happening with gasoline prices. (and oil, importatn for more than gasoline, as fuel prices are important for more than gasoline and diesel prices,. They end up as TRANSPORTATION cost, and therefore increase the cost of things like FOOD, as well as utility costs. Remember, essentially these SAME articles about an "improvving" economy were written LAST YER (through Fevruary), and even at the end of 2009. Have we entered on a new seasonal pattern, where things look better in the winter and worse in the summer? Maybbe This is a VERY fragile "recovery", and thsese statistics are not nearly as good as the media would have you believe. We will see. As the previous blog article stated, the price of oil is on the VERGE of creating major damage to the economy of the United States (and of the world).
Again, this blog cutrs through the media lies, and gives ou the trugth. There is SOME reson for SOME optimism. Notice how Barack Obama MIGHT be VICTIMIZED by media lies. If there IS a new seasonal pattern, where things look wrose in the sumer, Obama could be faced with statistics that make things look WORSE than they really are (as arguably happpened last summer). Now I am sure the media will do its best to RESCUE Obama, no matter what the actual facts are. And if things really are looking "too rosy" right now, then the supposed "improving" economy is mostly a MYTH.
P.S No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight).