Posts Tagged ‘unemployment claims’

Unemployment claims drop by 3,000 … well, not really.

September 21, 2012

Yesterday’s headline’s trumpeted a 3,000  drop in initial unemployment claims.

Hooray. Right?

Of course not, the BLS revised last week’s number up by 3.000 so that it could report this week as being down by 3,000.

Huh?

Now we’re up to 79 out of 80 weeks — and, at least 20 election season weeks in a row — 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 Sept. 8 was revised upward from 382,000 to 385,000.

In itself, the 3,000 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 3k … or .8% to your prelim forecast !

image

I promise that I’ll stop writing about BLS reporting bias when the streak ends.

>> Latest Posts

The streak rolls on: BLS under-reports initial unemployment claims … again!

August 17, 2012

One more time …

Now we’re up to 74 out of 75 weeks — and, at least 15 weeks in a row — 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 August 3 was revised upward from 361,000 to 364,000.

In itself, the 3,000 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 !

image

* * * * *

Almost forgot … the preliminary unemployment claims for the week of Aug. 11 are up 5K vs. the Aug. 3 preliminary number and up 2K vs the revised Aug.3 number.

In other words, no indication that a corner has been turned.

image

>> Latest Posts

The streak rolls on: BLS under-reports initial unemployment claims … again!

August 3, 2012

Now we’re up to 72 out of 73 weeks — and, at least 13 weeks in a row — 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 21 was revised upward from 353,000 to 357,000.

In itself, the 4,000 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 !

image

* * * * *

Almost forgot …

Ahead of this morning’s BLS unemployment report, Gallup’s unemployment rate bumped up .2% during July and first time unemployment claims increased last week.

My bet BLS will claim we’re steady at 8.2% … and, further nick their credibility.

image

Errata: last line of chart should be dated 7/28/12 … sorry.

>> Latest Posts

Amazing: BLS under-reporting streak continues …

July 27, 2012

Now we’re up to 71 out of 72 weeks — and, at least 12 weeks in a row —  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 14 was revised upward from 386,000 to 388,000.

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 !

image

>> Latest Posts

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 !

image

* * * * * *

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.

image

>> Latest Posts

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 !

image

>> Latest Posts

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 !

image

>> Latest Posts

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:

image

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

image

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

>> Latest Posts

Cookin’ the books update: They (shamelessly) did it again …

June 22, 2012

OK, here’s this week’s unemployment claims headline:

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 387,000.

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

Said differentlt: Unemployment claims (387,000) increased by 1,000 over last week’s reported number (386,000) … but last week’s reported number (386,000) was revised up by 3,000  to 389,000 … so, this week’s number is not an increase of 1,000, it’s a decrease of 2,000.

C’mon man.

My bet: this week’s number 387,000 will be revised upward next week.

That’s a safe bet, since the BLS has under-reported initial unemployment claims for 66 out of the last 67 weeks.

Here’s the recap for the past 7 weeks:

image

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

image

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

You decide …

Here’s a shocker for you ….

June 15, 2012

Yesterday, the BLS reported that it’s revising last week’s estimate of new  unemployment claims up by 3,000 … or about 1%

image

We’ve been pointing out this glaring statistical bias for weeks.

Finally, some other media sources have finally jumped on the bandwagon and researched the issue historically.

Turns out that  the weekly jobless claims number has now been revised up 20 weeks in a row and 65 out of the last 66 weeks.

Hmmm.

Why is it important?

Because it means the Feds are consistently under-reporting weekly unemployment claims’ changes … making things look rosier than they really are.

 

image

 

May be an innocent error but, geez, wouldn’t you think the statisticians would have caught on to the bias by now?

>> Latest Posts

More cookin’ the books … giving bad news a positive headline.

May 29, 2012

I smelled this one a couple of weeks ago … and, surprisingly, haven’t heard any pundits nail it.

Each Thursday morning, the BLS reports new unemployment claims.

Here are the headline numbers from the past couple of weeks:

In the week ending April 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 365,000.

In the week ending May 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 367,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 368,000.

In the week ending May 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 370,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised figure of 370,000.

In the week ending May 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 370,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 372,000.

OK, for 3 weeks running, unemployment claims were unchanged 1 week and declining 2 weeks.

Oh really?

Tabulating the reported data (chart below) reveals a very different trend.

Comparing the so-called advance numbers from month-to-month shows a decline in 2 weeks with 1 week unchanged.

Hmmm.

Comparing the revised numbers from month to month shows a decline in 2 weeks.

Double hmmm.

In other words, in each of the past 3 weeks, the advanced number was low-balled and compared to a number that was revised up.

Changes that coincidently provide positive headlines … for what amounts to be negative news.

Cookin’ the books?

Let’s see what happens in this Thursday’s  & Friday’s unemployment reports. …

image

>> Latest Posts