The weekly number of new unemplyment claims (filed last week) came out Thursday, but the distortins created by Sandy make the number fairly meaningless. What is meaningful, again, is the DISHONESTY of our media, which still gives false hadlines (including not referring to the number as the mere ESTIMATE it is), and talks aoubt "improvement" when everynoe knows that Sandy has distorted the nu bemers.in unpredictable ways. Note that there has been generally GOOD weather in recent weeks, which is NOT mentioned by the DISHOENST people in our media and the dishoenst Labor Dept.
The actual, unrevised number reported today was 383,0000: at the very top of the YEARLY rannge of 351,000-392,0000 (ignoring last two FICTIONAL weeks above 4000,0000, and previus FICTIONAL 342,0000 caused by disheonst Labor Dept. leaving out all, or part, of California data, and not correcting that week's resulting fictional number).
However, for the first time in living memory, the REVISED number from last week was DOWN. Did the dishoenst Labor Dept. "arrange" this because everyone is ignoring the weekly number anyway (because of Sandy)? Possibly,. Or it is possible that this just shows that Sandy has so confused the numbers that the dishoenst Labor Dept. can't even manage its CONSISTENT 3,0000 understatement of new unemplyment claims, which has gone into UNCORRECTED media headlines for YEARS. Has dishoenst Labor Dept. "reformed", based on my conclusive reporting that this weeklly "error", in one directin ONLY (almost always), is indefensible? Don't count on it. I have confidence in the dishonesty and incompetence of our Laobr Dept. (and, of course, our media).
Now we are being set up here for more DISHOENSTY in th eway future weeks are reported. Note that we don't yet know when the initial, temporary distortions of Sandy wil be gone. How much temporary distortin from Sandy is still in that HIGH 383,0000 numbe? We don't know. But Sandy did more than simply cause "temporary" layoffs. As I have stated, despite Wall St. (The Stupidest People on Earth), Sandy ws a NET DETRIMENT to the economy and to jobs. As John Stossel has pointed out, if DESTROYING things is a way to economic prosperity, then we need to get out the bulldozers and start destroying (something like what the Dems actually propose with regard to "infrastructure"). Just not so.
However, Sandy distorts the SEASONAL ADJUSTMENT. Look at what ordinarily happens. Jobs are ADDED for the Christmas season./Black Friday. Then, as Christmas actually approaches and many peole have done their shopping, some of the temporary employees often get LAID OFF (starting BEFORFE Christmas). Further, the number of new unemplylment claims is a measure of LAYOFFS--not people HIRED. Look at the effect of Sandy. Labor Dept. reported that 451,0000 people lost their jobs in one week right after Sandy. The next week was reported as 410,0000, revised DOWN to 406,0000. These businesses in the Northeast, which were shut down, "laid off" their employees BEFORE Black Friday. This means that those of them that have, or will, REOPEN do not have "extra" peole to LAY OFF. They will only hire the peole that they now need. They may end up with fewer evmployees than before Sandy, but those previus layoffs were already COUNTED. This means that many businesses may not be laing off people jsut when the "seasonal adjustment" might suggest that some would be laying off people. In other words Sandy may have MOVED some of the seasonal factors, in additin to causing layoffs. Thus, say that the SEASONALLY ADJUSTED number for the first week in December is something like 340,000. The "seasonal adjustment" is always suspect around Christmas anyway, as special factors affect the TIMING of hiring and layoffs in the Christmas season (and irght afterward). That is why I have told you that this weekly number of unemplment claims will really not have any meaning until id-January, and it NEVER has any meaning except OVE TIME. A sudden "drop" to something like 340,0000 would have to be assumed to be FICTGION--a distortin created by Sandy fully as much as "temporary" layoffs were created by Sandy.
This is what the DISHOENST media and Labor Dept. never seem to report. A distgortoin in one directin, because of special events and factors, may create a balancing distortion in the other directin in following week(s). Sandy can distort the weekly number in BOTH directins (up and down), and yet the media is going to ignore that if the weekly number suddently "improves" dramatically. As stated, the holiday season alone can distort the numbers. In fact, as this blog has reported, thaere has been a CONSISTENT pattern since the beginning of 2010, where the weekly number of new unemplyment claims APPEARS to "improve" rather substantialy toward the end of the yearm and at the beginning of the new year, only to APPEAR to DETERIORATE as we had into spring and sumemr. This pattern has occurred in 2010, 2011 AND 2012, although the substantial seasonal "improvement" in the fall has NOT really occurred in 2012--at least not yet. Did Sandy delay that usual apparent "improvement" in the fall? Maybe. Or maybe we are just not getting it. (bad news, really). In all events, any APPARENT big "drop" in new unemployment claims in the weeks up to the end of the year will likely be FICTIN (unless confirmed over teh succeeding months).
The LACK of 'improvement" n the weekly number of new unemplylment claims this year has been dramatic. It is not only that the BEST time of the year, as usual, was from mid-January to mid-March. The yearly RANGE of 351,000 to 392,0000 (ignoring obvius distorted weeks) is SMALL. A 40,000 RANGE for the entire year really does mean that we have been STALLED: STUCK in the smae BAD place all lyear. Remember, this weekly number can BOUNCE up and down by 40,0000 in a single WEEK, even without the major move from something as big as Sandy. Rather ordinary WEATHER, like BLIZZARDS, can move the weekly number by BIG amounts. I am not sure, by the way, that Sandy is that much of an extgraordinary weather event. GOOD weather definitely had an effect on the APPARENT "improvement" early this year, and weather is something of an "ordinary" variable, even if Sandy was a mroe obvius and extreme facotr than most.
You have been warned. Ignore media headlines suggesting "improvement' n weekly new claims for unemplyument over the next 6 weeks or so. Yes, that also may be true for BAD numbers over that period, but the Labor Dept. and media REORT that (usually). The DISHOENSTY is in the consistent SKEWING of the way the numbers are reported, so that lyou don't report the ossible distrotng factors in major moves EITHER DIRECTIN. As stated, a major move in one directin is often part of the SAME reason for a move in the other directin. (as faulty "seasonal adjustments" and glitches "even out") This blog tells you HOW tro properly evaluate these numbers, which the media does NOT do.
By the way, the formula and "baseline" used to calculate the weekly ESTIMATE are CHANGED at the beginning of the year (ordinarily) which also distorts the MONTHLY empllyment numbers. REaly, we are gong t have little idea where we are untl at least id-January, and THEN you have the effect of this new seasonal pattern where the number APPEARS to improve n February, only to slide back in the spring/summer. We may well not get a very good picture of whre we are until April and May of 203. Obviusly dramatic, consistent imrovement over months would be significant. But a quck "drop", and then a STALL, as happened in 201, 2011 AND 2012, would indicate we are merely rpeating the same seaonsal pattern agan (where "seaonsal adjustment" is flawed).
P.S. No proofreading or spell checkng (bad eyesight).