The numbre of new unemployment claims for last week wsa released today, as it is every Thursday, and it was total FICTION. But before analyzing why that is true, we need to look at the past.
First, last week's dishonesty. For about the 103rd week bout of the last 105, or maybe 151 out of 154, this blog was right and the dishoonest Labor Department/media wrong. The initial number of new unemplyment claims annunced last week (for the previus week) was REVISED (as it always is, but in only one directin in the most consistent dishonesty of which I am aware, extending over years) from 367,0000 to 369,000 (UP 2,000, as it is always UP). Last week, this blog, as usual, had estimated the CORRECT (but see beloow, as to "correct") number at 370,0000. Notice how this blog, as usual, was CLOSER to the "right" number than the Labor Department/media.
Thee is a reason this is especially relevant. For the fourth, or maybe fifth time, the media used the SAME headline today: "New unemplyment claims reach four-year low." That headline has been used at least 4 times now since mid-February. "But, Skip, that just shows how much 'progrss' we have made since mid-February, as we keep making new four-year lows." Ah, that is exactly what it des NOT show. In mid-February, new unempoyment claims (as reported byt he Labor Department) reached a REVISED "low" of 351,000 (the 'unrevised" low was 348,0000). That is the SAME 4-year "low" that the media headlines TODAY say was breached--even though the SAME media headline was used at least 3 previous times as to the SAME 351,000 "low' in mid-February. Howis that possible? Oly if yu are DISHOENST and/or INCOMPETENT (as usual, I vote for both). Read the previus paragraph. The Labor Department, and especailly our media, did the SAME THING at least 3 previus times this year. They FALSELY "reported" that the UNREVISED figure was a "new four-year low" (even thugh the 351,000 "low" in mid-February was a REVISED figure), and it turned out every time that the REVISED number was 351,000 or higher. Can you get more dishonest than this: to reccycle the same FALSE headline time after time. In my previus articles on this, I even said that the media would get to AGAIN use the sAME HEADLINE (on the smae 'low") again: the only question being whether they would still be using the SAME HEADLINE, on the SAME NUMBERS, ten years from now.
Okay. This particular dishonest game may be over, for now. The number of new unemployment claims (for last week) was announced today as 339,000 (fiction though that is). This, of course, is a dishonest number (for same reason that media has been "able' to previosly, falsely, use that headline about a "new four-year low"). The actual number, if YEARS of dishonesty is any guide, is likely 342,0000 or higher: the REVISED number to be released next week. You will note, however, that 342,000 is still below 351,0000, meaning that "new four-year low" MAY actaully stand (as the "new four-year low" did NOT the previus 3 times the media used this SAME headline since mid-February). Why 'may"? Well, the consistent REVISION is 3,000 UP (often 4,000, and sometimes 2,000). However, on a few occasions the REVISION has been an upward revision of 12,000 or more. Note that a revison upward of 12,000 wuld leave us at that same 351,000, giving ur dishonest media the chance to USE THIS SAME HEADLINE again, with the same 351,000 previuos "low" as the basis for the headline. oj
All of the above is merely the consistent dishonesty. Now for the fiction. Our media would have you believe that these numbers make sense, as they would with the even more obviusly FALSE, inconsistent monthly employment numbers (where the Labor Department and media assserted that 873,000 equals 114,000, and that those numbres were "concistent" just because they came from different "measuring" instruments---see Sunday's blog article). The problem is that the weekly number of new unemplyment claims went UP last week, and has been in the 365,00-380,000 range since July. Indeed, the YEARLY range has been 351,0000-392,000, and we have recently been right in the MIDDLE o tthat range. What could possibly have happened LAST WEEK to DROP the number of new unemplyment clamims by a supposed 30,000 (agasin, most likely 27,000 or less, once todays number is REVISED).? NOTHING. I am serius. There is NO possible REAL "improvement", in one week (when there is NO concistent trend of previus improvement) that can exlain this FICTIONAL number.
'Okya, Skip. The number is obviosly not a real, sudden change in the ecoomy such that layoffs really 'improved' that much in a single week, after going UP the previus week and moth. But yu, yourself, have noted that this weekly number is volatile--gong up and down rather violkently for no apparent reason (sometimes with an obvius reason). What is your explanatin?"
This is correct We start off with the obvious, and ocrrect, idea that this sudden 30,000 job 'improvement' is fictinoal. That has to be true. At the very least, it means NOTHING until subsequent weeks indicate where we really are. The ECONMY/job market did NOT suddenly 'improve" this dramaticaly in one week. Is this the ELECTION? Again, we know that the Labor Department weekly figures are consistently dishoenst and inaccurate (re-read first part of this article). The weekly figure has been WAY off sometimes. People generating these numbers KNOW that there is an election coming up. My own opinionn is that this WAS a factor in the FALSE monthy unemployment rate report. The Labor Department is collecting this weekly data from all kinds of sources, and concistently gets it WRONG in one directin. Is it hard to believe that the same kind of thing that leads to CONSISTENT ERROR every week could be exacerbated when everyone KNOW that the electin is looming? I think that is a reasonable conclusion. However, there is another factor seemingly at work here.
The pATTERN of weekly new unemployment claims has been the SAME since the beginning of 2010--extending even to late 2009, Things seem to "improve' in the fall and winter. Then, as we head toward spring, the job market APPEARS to deteriorate. Then we reach the fall and winter, and the job market APPEARS to "improve" (with the SAME orgasmic media headlines every time about how we have "turned the corner"). This same pattern, as this blog has noted a number of times before, has RECURRED in 2010,2011 and 2012. Note that the 342,0000 new unemplyment claims (expected REVISED number) announced this week is abut the SAME as the 351,000 "low' in mid-February. In a number this volatile, a difference of 9,000 is trivial. Therefore, there is still NO TRNED this year. The weekly number has gone up and down, bascially repeating the SAME pattern that haS existed for 3 years. WHY?
Think "seasonal adjustment'. This weeky nummber of new unemplyment claims, as is true of the monthly employment numbers, is SEASONALLY ADJUSTED using a Labor Department "formula'. That formula obviusly is NOT correctly "predicting" the current seasonal patterns in employment. If y combine this GITCH in the seasonal adjustment formula with a possible incentive to exacerbate the weekly dishoensty, I think the APPARENT--but too large-"improvement" in the weekly number of new unemployment claims this one week is explained pretty completely. There is no longer any doubt that we have a DIFFERENT seaonsal pattern in employment than is reflected in the Labor Department "odel" used for its seasonal adjustment.
Given that the INCENTIVE for dieshoensty (not "conspiracy", but jsut by the same people giving you a consistent ERROR in one directin every week), are these employment figures going to have any meaning from now to the electin? I have my doubts. And the 3year seasonal pattern is toing to make the numbers look better than they should in any event. The overally YEAR shoes NO IMPROVEMENT in the econmy, and I think that thee numbers can only have ANY meaning over tieme. Our DISHOENST media may refuse to report things accurately, and report these short-term numbers as if they are just "counting". You get the truth from this blog.
This week's number of new unemployment claims MIGHT be a "four-year low", by an insignificantly smal number (rather than reflecting any trend). And I thik you have to regard it as a eeasonably good number, if only because it indicates that there probably is no DETERIORATIN in the economy. This blog's recent--realy entire year--analysis is still holding true: We are STUCK (STALLED in a bad plcace), with the economy and job market not getting any worse, but not getting any better. We have reallly been about in this same place since January of 2010, and it is really NO ACCIDENT. What Obama and Bailout Ben Bernanke have done is make a real recovery impossilbe. The numbers can bounce around, based on seaonsal adjustment glitches and even dishonesty, but the overall situatin is clear: STUCK.
P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight). Think of it as a challenge for ou--a BONUS as I give yu a "word puzzle" in additin to my brillian substantive analysis, without charge. You LUCKY peopole!!!!!