Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Press (Again) Fudges The Jobless Claims Numbers

When actually reported "last" Thursday, the number of first-time jobless claimants was 456,000; exactly the same as was reported in this morning's weekly report. Yet, if you read the news headlines, they all say that the jobless claims number fell by 3,000. So, what gives?

Actually, it is a little trickery that is being played out almost every week by the mainstream media and being sown by the government agency reporting that number: Obama's Labor Department.

Every time a jobless claims' number is reported, a revision for the prior week is also issued. As had been the case in almost every report this year, the week's prior number was bumped up (revised higher). In this morning's case, last week's number was upped by 3,000 jobs to 459,000 and, magically, this week's 456,000 claims appears to have been a drop of 3,000. An improvement? Not hardly? If you would read beneath the headlines, you would actually find out that the 4-week moving average of jobless claims headed upwards by 2,500 jobs; not getting better as the mainstream media would have you believe from their Obama and Democrat-protecting headlines.

The most blatant abuser of this fact is the always Obama-loving Associated Press (AP). This morning, an AP writer, Christopher S. Rugaber, actually had the gall to post a headline that read: 'New jobless claims dip for third straight week'. Not actually a lie if you play the "revisions game". But, it is a true distortion in view of the fact that there is, now, a rising, not declining, 4-week moving average. No way in mathematical hell can you have a 4-week moving average that is going up, and still claim that the last 3 weeks had declines. Maybe it's due to Mr. Rugaber's use of the "new math" that they're teaching our kids in schools these days?

So, anyway, here's a link to a CNBC's news report of all the numbers behind this morning's jobless claims: 'Weekly Claims Edge Lower as Jobs Recovery Plods On' (even though, it too, carries the same misleading headline). If you read the report carefully, you will see what I am complaining about. It is this kind of sleight of hand and distortion of the facts that caused me to create this blog and call it "Cutting Through The Fog" so that the lies and double-speak of the news media and politicians can be clearly exposed.

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