Thursday, February 16, 2012

Unemployment Claims and Media Lies: Still Fairly Good News

See last night's article. The weekly number of new jobless claims (new unemployment claims) was announded this morning, as usualon Thursday morning. The media, as usual, LIED. This is NOT a "number", like countng,. It is an ESTIMATE, based on SUBJECTIVE analysis (including seasonal adjustment. Further, it is subject to REVISIOIN next week. For example, last week's REPORTED numbere was 358,000. The REVISED numbe, released today, is 361,000, which is EXACTLY what this blog told yu it would be.

Thus, it is a bald-faced LIE to "report" that jobless claims droped 13,000, to 348,00, whihc is how this is being rekported (as usual). BOTH numbers are a LIE. On an apples-to-apples basis, the number dropped 10,000 (not 13,000). Last weekk's INITIALLY REPORTED number ws 358,000. That is the ONLY number that can be compared with this week's INITIALLY REPORTED number. That is not a matter of opinion. It is a statistical FACT, when youadd the FACT that the REVISIOIN is almost always UP--usually by 3,000 or 4,000. Thus, the REVISED number for this week will almost certainy be something like 351,000, instead of the initially reported 348,000. As this blog has consistently shown you, that is the LEAST of the LIES here. There is a "margin of error" built into this "seasonal adjutment process, of about 50,000 (or more, in isolated weeks).

Thus, when the media says that jobless claims have fallen to "nearly a four-year low, the media LIES. You can say the ESTIMATE did that, but these are NOT the exact numbers that the media reports. ou will further note that this week's number is only 10,0000 less than last week's initially reported number. This is well within the regular margin of error here. In other words, as an isolated weeek, this week's number is no "nearer" a four-year low than lasst week's number. The number is really no different thaan last week.

That said, this is still about the BEEST number that could be expected. Any LOWER number would likely be real fiction. This number MAy be fiction, but there are "signs" it really does represent at least a temporary "improvement". The four-week average is now FIRMLY below 375,000, and is maybe 20,000 or 25,000 below the same time last year. That four-week average, by the way, is not foolproof, as the numbers for the past two weeks GUARANTEE taht the average willl stay low, even if the number JUMPS up next week. This is a function of the HISGHEST numbers being the ones that are going to "drop off" in the next two weeks, while that 351,000 (estimated) and 361,000 numbers will remain in the four-week average for several weeks. There is nothing "wrong" with this. There is NO way to arrive at a perfect number, since these numbers are MERE ESTIMATES,: fallible and volatile on a weekly basis, or even a monthly basis. The question now is whether this APPARENT improvement is real, or a combination of the WEATHER and a "news" seasonal pattern in the economy. See last night's article. We will not really know until abut May, but if the AVERAGE continues to "trnd" down toward 350,0,000, or below, you would have to say there has been an "improvement", even if the significance of that improvement is not yet fully apparent.

The other question here is whether any "recovery" can be SUSTAINED, even if real. The positin of this blog is that the combined policies of Barack Obama (and Congress) and "Bailout Ben" Bernanke have made it IMPOSSIBLE to have a SUSTAINGED recovery. The only question for this blog is whether Obama can get LUCKY, and have the economy APPEAR to be recovering at the end of October (NOT NOW). I don't think that is likely, but it could happen. Why is it not likely? One of the problems here is GASOLINE, and oil prices. Gasoline is already headed back above $4.00 a gallon, and oil prices are STARTING the "run-up toward Memorail Day at a HIGHER level (above $100 dollars a barrel) than last year. Indeed, Obama was so DESPERATE last year that he released oil frm the "strategic reserve" to try (unsuccessfully) to bring down gas prices, when a barrel of oil was selling at about $95 a barrel, and had never gone above $105. We are STARTING the "run-up" to summer at a higher level than PANICKED Obama last summer. Yuo can expect more GIMMICKS bky Obama to try to "hold down" gasoline princes. It is not just gasoline. FOOD prices are skyrocketing. Other commodity princes are subject to INFLATIONARY spikes. With these kinds of "print money" politices, it is almost impossible to imagine a sustainted recovery, even jut until November. But there are no certainties.

Bottom line: Today's "jobless claims" number is about the BEST that could have been expected. The more significant AVERAGE over the past four weeks, and even over the past few months (despite no improvement until the past two weeks), shows that there MAY be a real improvement going on here. We willl see. This blog will tell you the TRUTH on it, as the media LIES on how it reports these numbers. Will gas prices DERAIL any "recovery"? Will EUROPE, and the consequences of unrestrained worldwide spending? Weill the "seasonal pattern" of the past two years recur? Only time will tell. In the meantime, subject to confirmation over succeeding weeks, the "joblsess claims' number SEEMS to fianlly be showing SOME progress, as it has NOT done since the end of 20009.

P.S. No proofreading or spell lchecking (bad eyesight).

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