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AP (Pre-Jobs Report): Jan May Hard To Interpret

From the Associated Press:

US jobs report for Jan. might be hard to interpret

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER February 7, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the most highly anticipated U.S. jobs reports in months might also prove to be among the most puzzling.

Friday’s report on hiring during January follows signs of economic weakness in the United States and overseas that have sent stock prices sinking. Upheaval in developing countries has further spooked investors…

Are they talking about the Olympics?

Solid job gains and a healthy decline in the unemployment rate could reverse much of the pessimism. They would suggest that recent reports of tepid job growth and other economic weakness were merely temporary. Dismal hiring, though, would inflame fears that the U.S. economy has begun to falter.

The AP is only saying this because they are sure the jobless rate will go down or at least stay the same. And for the unemployment rate declined last month. Because more people gave up looking for work and left the work force. And because, with the end of the the federal unemployment extension, more people will be dropped from the unemployment rolls.

But the AP want to fool us into thinking that it will be a sign the economy is better.

Several factors could muddy the results. Unseasonably cold winter weather could distort January’s hiring figures.

Finally, a cutoff of extended unemployment benefits in December might have caused an artificial drop in January’s unemployment rate. That could give a misleading snapshot of the job market’s health.

Note how far down in the article this minor detail is buried.

December’s figure was far below the average gain of 214,000 a month in the previous four months. Bad weather likely weighed on December’s job total, economists said…

For the hundredth time: the weather in December was not all that bad. But our news media has tried to blame everything on it. Hilariously, Reuters even seems to think the weather was worse in December than January.

From Reuters:

U.S. job growth seen snapping back from winter chill

By Lucia Mutikani | February 7, 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employment likely rebounded in January after being held back by cold weather the prior month, which would offer assurance that economic growth was not faltering.

You see? The (not so) cold weather in December held down hiring, but the (truly) cold weather in January did not. In reality, once again this prediction is based on the presumption that the end of federal unemployment benefits is going to drive down the unemployment rate artificially. But at least Reuters admits it:

While the unemployment rate is forecast holding steady, there is a risk [sic] it could decline even further in January because jobless benefits for more than one million long-term unemployed Americans expired at the end of December…

The participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, fell 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in December, returning to the more than 35-year low hit in October…

But isn’t that good news? Aren’t we being told that the more people who get out of the workforce, the better? In fact, that’s one of the benefits of Obama-Care. It will drive another 2.5 million people out of the workforce by 2017.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 7th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “AP (Pre-Jobs Report): Jan May Hard To Interpret”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    So they’ve graduated from “making excuses” to “pre-emptive excuses” to explain failure before it happens.

    Wow, like my grandad used to say, “If everyone had crystal balls, it’d make sitting down a lot more dangerous”.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy in a very immediate way. It immediately injects demand into our markets and increases employment. For every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy grows by, according to one estimate, $1.52; by others, $2. So somewhere in that range, but much more than is spent on it,” Pelosi said.


    THIS is why we’re in such bad shape. Ask her if that’s how she runs her own personal finances.

    Tell her, “The more money you spend on crap…the more money you’ll have to pay your bills!”

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