No more pussyfooting around . The way the Labor Department compiles these weekly numbers on new unemplyment claims for the previus week (released every Thursday) is dishoenst.
This blog, for YEARS (not jsut weeks or months) has shown that the number released on each Thursday (for new unmplllyemnt claims filed the previuos wekk--therotically a measure ofweekly job losses) is ALWAYS revised uward the next Thursday. I the past that revisinh has msot often been 3,000 and above, although occasionally 2,000.Very rarely--maybe two or three times a year--the number will re revised upward only 1,000, or (almsot never) be unchanged. I cant even remember the last time the weekly number was revised DOWNWARD. Sorry,. This CONSISTENT upward bias in the HEADLINE number initay reported is DISHOENST. No. I don't care if the Labro Department is getting the dishoenst numbers from its reporting sources, instead of creating themitself. It is still disoenst. If you KNOW that you are CONSISTENTY getting reports on new unemplyment claims off by 2,000, 3,000 or more in ONE DIRECTIN, then you are oblicaged to either improve the reporting or ADJUST the weekly number BEFORE initial reporting. If the number is ALWAYS going to be off, why not jsut wait for the "good" number (release each report one week later--after all of teh "revisions" ae in)? This problem is compunded by the MEDIA SIHONESTY, which is even greater than the Lbaro Department dishoensty. This blog's previus article on this subject noted that the Labor Deaprtmentst SEEMED to be gettting SLIGHTLY better, as the weekly revisoin seemed to have settled in at 2,000, instead of the previous 3,000. And CNN, for one, on their "detailed" page, was comparing unrevised numbers with unrevised numbers, instead of LYING by comapring revised numbers (from previus Thrusday) with unrevised numbers (released the current Thursday). But this last Thursday showed that the apparent "progress" was an ILLUSING, and that the media was MORE DISHOENST than ever.
First, the revision. The number of new unemplyment claims released the previus Thrusday was revised upward to 364,000 from 351,000: returning to the previus weekly pattrern of an uward revision averaging at least 3,000. This means that the reported drop" the previous week (two Thursdays ago) was really 3,000 rather than the "headline" 6,000 reported at the time. This was a miniscule "drop" (from 367,000 to the revised 364,000, instead of the initially reported 361,000). It gets worse.
What were the consistent headlines on Thrusday? The headlines were that the number of "new unemplyment claims" "edged up", "rose very slightly", OR "remained unchanged". The number of new unemplyment claims reportedon Thursday, which led to these headlines, was 366,000. Note that the widelspread media headines were a LIE. "But, Skip, the number only rose 2,000. That is essentailly unchanged.". YOU FOOL YOU. Have you not been reading this blog? The initially reportednumber of 366,000was actually 5,000 more than intially reported last week, on an apples-to-apples basis. To put it another way, the 366,000 number will lbe REVISED this next Thursday to 368,000 (or maybe 369,000). Notice that this means the RISE in new unemplyment claims this week was likely at least as large as the FALL in new unemplyment claims reorted (falsely) the previous Thrusday (that supposed "drop of 6,000 from 367,000 to 361,000, which became a "drp" of 3,000 after the 361,000 was revised upward to 364,000). Thus, the umber of new unemplylment claims has remained essentially UNCHANGED for THREE WEEKS, but that is not how the HEADLINES for the past two weeks read, because of this consistent distortion in comparing an unrevised number to a revised number. Now you might notice that even 6,000 can be viewed as "essentailly unchanged", because the real margin of error here is something like 50,000 each week (because of the bvery large number thhat the seasonal adjustment may be off). But that is NOT how the DISHOENST media reports these numbers--one of the facts of dishonesty being that the number reported each week is an ESTIMATE, rather than a concrete, "counting-on-your-finger" number. The raw number is adjusted by a SUBEJECTIVE "seasonal adjustment" formula, and that formual can be way off. But the dishoenst media keeps reporting a 4,000 "deop" in claims as significant, which is DISHOENST when we KNOW that the 4,000 "drop" will become an'essentially unchanged" "drop" of 1,000 or so once the revised number comes out the next week. Message to yu financial "journalists": you are about the most dishoenst, incompetent people who have ever lived, and your headline writers (unchecked by you dishonest peole) are even mroe dishoenst. It gets worse.
Then there are the people of Marketwatch.co: in the competitn for the MOST dishoenst people who ever lived, bar none, along with some other 'journalists". How did the absurdly dishoenst peole of Marketwatch report last Thrusday's nubmes? First, you could hardly find the actual number of new unemplyment calims (the unrevised number of 366,000) in the Marketwatch story. What the dishonest peole of Marketwatch did was dishoenstly focus on the "four-week average", which they ONLY do when that "shows" a "drop". When the four-week average incrases, even thought he weekly number is down, it is IGNORED (by Marketwatch and all other dishoenst "journalists"). It is much wrose in this particular case. Here are the numbers of new llunemplyment claims for the past 6 reported weeks (remember, with 366,000 in current week to be REVISED): 366,000 (this last Thursday unrevised); 364,000 (revised frmo 361,000); 367,0000 (revised from 365,000); 357,0000 (revised from 356,000); 388,0000 (revised) and 352,000.
Note how BAD the the "seasonal adjustment" has worked recently. The econmy stayed pretty much the same since the beginning of the year. GDOP rose 2% in the firt quarter and 1.5% (initial estimate) n the second quarter. Meanwhile, since the beginning of the year, the number of new unemlylment claims has JUMPED AROUND, in a large range of 351,000 to 392,000. From late January to March, we entered into a range of 351,000 to abut 365,000, whch had the dishoenst, incompetent media taling aobut "turning the corner' on jobs (as they had in 2011 and 2010, when the SAME thing happened). Then that number of new unemplment claims suddently JUMPED--for three straight weeks--to an AVERAGE of close to 390,0000. Seasonal adjsutment problems (in the 351,000 low as well as in the 390,000 high). Then the weeky number of new unemplyment claims fell back again to right above the TOP of the previus range of 351,000 to 356,000 that had held for February -March. Then the number of new unemlyment clams AGAN JUMPED, right ack up to that 3 week verage of almost 390,000. Indeed, for almost ALL of June, the number of new unempplyment claims aVERAGED right around 390,000, until you got to the last week in June and first week in July (Juy 4 week). Then the number supposedly fell SUDDENY to 352,000 in the first week of July. That was obviusly a seasonal adjustment glitch caused by changes in schedules of auto plant closings. Then the number JUMPED right back up to 388,00) (a ridiculous supposed "increase" of 36,000). Then the number "dropped" back to 357,000 (an eqully ridiculous supposed decrese of 31,000). .We have now 'stabiized" at about 365,000 (at the TOP of the February-March range agai). Meanwhile, there is NO evidence to suggest that the EcONMY (or job market) has really jumped arund this way. This is almost surely ALL the "seasonal adjustment". The relevatn act is that we have made NO PROGRESS since the beginnning o the year, and that there is NO IMPROVING TREND evident.
Look at the "four-week average", and how it is DISTORTED by the seasonal adjustment glitches. The Thursday before last, the fur-week average" (which dishoenst Marketwatch said reached its low since March in the numbers reported this last Thursday) ROSE (even though that was ignored by dishonest "journalists" focusing on that supposed 6,000 "drop" last week, which turned into only a 3,000 "drop" wth the revisin reported this last Thursday). How could the "rur-week average" RISE the previous week, and FALL this last Thursday? Easy. Look at the FICTINAL numbers the "four-week average"is DROPPING OFF. First, we "dropped off" the 352,000 and added a 364,000. That RAISED the "four-week average" by 3,000, and actually left us at a pretty HIGH numbe (ignored by dishonest "jurnalists'). This last Thrusday, we "droped off" the 388,000, and added 366,000 (or, likely, 369,000). That "dropped" the "four-week average" 5,000. Fiction. All fiction. "but is it not true that we have at least 'improved' from that 390,000 averge for most of JUNE?" Yes, that is true. But does it MEAN anything, when we have merelly returned to a level at the TOP of the range we maintained earlier this eyar? Evn more significant, the number of new unmplyment claims dos nto seem to match the ecomy, in the timing and magnitude of this bounding around (after the "seasonal adjustment" is applied)? Notice that the "four-week average" will RISE this Thursday, unless Thursday's reported number is 357,000 or less. That is because we are gong to"drop" 357,000 from the 'moving average" this Thursday, and the average will INCRFEASE unless we at least match that number (on the low side). That will be true EVN IF the weekly number reported this Thrusday DROPS, like to 363,000. Note, yet again, that this does not even count that the number reproted this Thursday will likely be a LIE, becaues it will be an unrevised number.
Dazed? Our dishonest media calls this "in the weeds". But I do this because you are SMART. More importantly, I HAVE to do it to show you that our media LIES. If they were doing their job, they could do CORRECT stories without repeating this exensive analysis of numbers every week. But they SHULD be reporting MULTIPLE WEEKS (not jsut the "four-week average" when it suits them, AND the fact that this weekly number is ony an ESTIMATE. And they should NEVER "compare' an unrevised number with a revised number. That is an outright LIE. The media, if they were honest, would also report that the Labor Department is CONSISTENY off--in ONE DIRECTION--2,000 or 3,000 (sometimes more) almsot EVERY WEEK. How can you defend that? You certainy cannot defend "reporting", or doing hedlines, on the assumptin that the number released by the Labor Department is the "real number'.
To me, this refusal of modern "journalists" to go "into the weeks', even to INFORM THEMSELVES so they can give the informatin to us in a more digestible form, is the wort indictment you can make of modern "jrunalists". they are BAD, DISHOENST peole. Sure, there MUST be a FEW exceptins. I have jstu not seen any.
P.S. No proofreading or spell checkng (bad eyesight). Look at that six week listing of new unemplylment claims numbers if yu think there is a typo in some number. That listing is correct.