Posts Tagged ‘cooking the books’

BLS streak shamelessly continues …

July 20, 2012

BLS bias continues

Now we’re up to 70 out of 71 weeks that the BLS’s “headline number” has under-reported the number of initial unemployment claims … and cast the jobs situation as brighter than it really is.

Based on Thursday’s BLS report, the number for the week ending July 7 was revised upward from 350,000 to 352,000.

In itself, the 2k isn’t a big deal.

But, in context it is

Again, I ask: statistical bias or political bias?

If the former: fix it already, BLS.

Hint to BLS: just add 2k or  .8% to your prelim forecast !

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* * * * * *

Increase in Unemployment Claims

And, don’t miss the big point: initial unemployment claims increased by about 10% to 386,000

I expect Team Obama to whine:

“Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.”

Safe bet since, as we reported before, that’s exactly what they’ve said each month for over 2 years.

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The BLS streak continues …

July 16, 2012

No, we didn’t forget … just got busy yesterday.

Now we’re up to 69 out of 70 weeks that the BLS’s  “headline number” has under-reported the number of initial unemployment claims … and cast the jobs situation as brighter than it really is.

Based on Thursday’s BLS report, the number for the week ending June 30 was revised upward from 374,000 to 376,000.

Again, I ask: statistical bias or political bias?

If the former: fix it already, BLS !

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The BLS streak continues …

July 6, 2012

We’re up to 68 out of 69 weeks that the BLS has under-reported the number of initial unemployment claims … and cast the jobs situation as brighter than it really is.

Based on yesterday’s BLS report, the number for the week ending June 23 was revised upward from 386,000 to 388,000.

Again, I ask: statistical bias or political bias?

If the former: fix it already, BLS !

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Cookin’ the books update: 67 of the last 68 weeks.

June 29, 2012

I know it’s getting a bit tedious … but, , here’s this week’s unemployment claims headline:

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000.

The prior week’s figure was revised up to 392,000 from the previously reported 387,000.”

Said differentlt: Unemployment claims (386,000) decreased by 1,000 from last week’s reported number (387,000) … but last week’s reported number (387,000) was revised up by 5,000 to 392,000 … so, this week’s number is not a decrease of 1,000, it’s a decrease of 6,000.

C’mon man.

My bet: this week’s number 386,000 will be revised upward next week.

That’s a safe bet, since the BLS has under-reported initial unemployment claims for 67 out of the last 68 weeks.

Here’s the recap for the past 7 weeks:

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Bottom line: a consistent bias – maybe statistical, maybe political – that provides Obama with jobs’ headlines more favorable than reality

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Either the BLS has the worst statisticians on the face of the earth, or they’ve become political hacks.

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Prepping for the jobs report this Friday …

May 3, 2012

A couple of data points …

The BLS weekly new unemployment claims averaged 363,000 in March … they’ve been just short of 390,000 the past couple of weeks.

* * * * *

Challenger  reported an increase in job cuts — vs. last month and vs. same month last year.

U.S.-based employers announced planned job cuts totaling 40,559 during the month of April.

That is a 7.1 percent increase from  job cuts announced in March.

April job cuts were up 11.2 percent from the same month a year ago.

So far this year, employers have announced 183,653 job cuts, 9.8 percent more than the job cuts by this point in 2011.

* * * * *

Gallup’s daily tracking of unemployment has been running between 8.3% and 8.4% for the past week or so.

* * * * *

Yesterday, ADP reported that the private sector added just 119,000 jobs in April

Private-sector employment increased by just 119,000 in April, according a report from ADP that puts a dent into the notion that the jobs market is on the path to a solid recovery.

The report was well below forecasts of 170,000 and comes after a string of stronger numbers.

ADP said service-sector jobs rose by 123,000, but construction fell by 5,000

* * * * *

Let’s see: unemployment claims are up, Gallup says 8.4%, ADP reports a slowing of job growth (below what’s need to keep pace with typical labor market growth).

So, what’ll be the BLS unemployment number?

My bet: the mysterious seasonal adjustments coupled with more discouraged workers no longer looking for work will keep the unemployment rate at 8.2%

We’ll see.

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News Flash:Weekly jobless claims drop … say, what?

April 26, 2012

This is getting downright silly …

The first line of this morning’s BLS report on weekly jobless claims says:

In the week ending April 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 389,000.

Note the last couple of words:  “ … from the previous week’s revised figure”.

Hmmm.

Here’s the way CNBC decoded the report:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The prior week’s figure was revised up to 389,000 from the previously reported 386,000.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a closely followed measure of labor market trends, rose 6,250 to 381,750, its highest since the week that ended January 7.

Get it?

Last week, when claims were reported to have gone up, they were understated by 3,000.

Hmm.

Now, last month gets revised upward … and guess what?

This month is lower than last month.

So, Team O has a talking point: jobless claims are down.

They do think we’re stupid …

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