More Jobless Number Manipulation

Folks, unemployment. They’re going gaga out there, the Drive-Bys, tongues are down on the floor (panting), economy coming back, can’t wait to get that number under 9%, get that magic eight-point… doesn’t matter whatever else, unemployment. “The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level since April, which suggests –” this is a news story by the way. “– which suggests that employers could be –” that is two vague possibilities, “which suggests” (panting) get excited there “– employers could be –” (panting) — no, no! Yes — wait for it “– stepping up hiring.” There it is. It could be, may be, might be, happening.

“The Labor Department says applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 390,000, the third decline in four weeks.” But, ladies and gentlemen, there is something unreported. Once again it turns out that last week’s numbers were quietly revised up. Last week’s numbers were 397,000. Again people are going (panting), and we had reports could be, might be, suggesting the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week was — don’t tell anybody — 400,000. Revised it up by 3,000. So it wasn’t 397,000. So it’s 390,000 today, and it will be revised upward next week. Well, it’s gotta be 150,000 a week to start reducing unemployment in a significant, meaningful way.



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