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AP: Jobless Applications At Near Low Levels

From Obama’s flacks at the Associated Press:

US unemployment applications hover near low levels

March 8, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. But the overall level stayed low enough to suggest the job market is strengthening.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications increased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000.

As we have noted before, the AP always compares apples to oranges. Here they are comparing last weeks now revised number to this week’s unrevised number.

If you compared apples to apples, the number of new claims have actually gone up by 12,000 from what the AP reported last week.

The four-week average, which smooths [sic] week-to-week fluctuations, remained at roughly 355,000. That’s essentially unchanged from last week’s level, which was the lowest in four years…

Or another way of putting this, is that unemployment rate was 7.8% in January 2009, when Obama took office. And it has been at 8.3% or higher ever since.

Applications have fallen 14 percent since October. When applications fall below 375,000, that generally signals hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate. The steady decline has coincided with three months of big hiring gains…

Not really. What has driven down the unemployment rate is the unprecedented number of people who the administration is claiming have left the workforce. A minor detail that the AP only gets around to reporting eleven paragraphs later, in the final sentence of their rose-colored article:

One reason the unemployment rate has fallen is that many people have given up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching for a job.

It’s is more than "one reason." It is almost certainly the only reason.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 8th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “AP: Jobless Applications At Near Low Levels”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    CNN’s headline: Jobless claims bounce off lows


    Also, if roughly 200,000 jobs are added each month, and roughly 200,000 new workers enter the work force each month, how does the unemployement number keep going down?

    • tranquil.night says:

      Millions of people are not accounted for in this figure. The chronically and long-term unemployment get dropped from the tally of the total jobs universe – they’re all but assumed just not to exist anymore. That’s why it is often theorized that the signs of a real recovery often come with a jump in the unemployment rate along with reduced jobless claims; because when things are rebounding well it will start drawing people who’ve given up looking for work/etc back into the market.

      If unemployment were calculated by the same formulas as when Obamy was immaculated, it would be over 11% raw, not counting underemployment and those who are net takers of government assistance.

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