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Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

More of the unexpected news that we have come to expect from the Associated Press:

First-time jobless claims fall more than expected

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

February 11, 2010

WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week to the lowest total in a month as states cleared out administrative delays left over from the Christmas holidays.

The Labor Department said that first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 440,000. Wall Street economists expected a smaller decline of 15,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

A Labor Department analyst said the decline largely reflects the end of administrative backlogs in California and other states that had elevated claims in the previous three weeks.

So how on earth could this drop be "unexpected"?

Or is it just called "unexpected" to make it sound more dramatic, as if things are getting better more quickly than anyone could have predicted?

The winter storms that have pounded the Mid-Atlantic took place after last week’s claims were filed, the analyst said. If they have an effect, it won’t be evident until next week’s data.

When their effect will also be described as "unexpected."

The four-week average fell by 1,000 to 468,500, the first drop after three weeks of increases.

Claims are now close to the low levels they reached in late December, when claims dropped to their lowest point in nearly 18 months. That is likely to raise hopes that the job market is improving.

The number of people claiming benefits for more than a week, meanwhile fell by nearly 80,000 to 4.5 million. That was a steeper decline than expected.

Why do we have to constantly hear about these expectations, since they are always wrong?

Why not just report the numbers?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected”

  1. This pointless prattle reminds me of a few corporation’s automated phone message that says, “If you’ve reached this message during normal business hours, we are experiencing unusually high call volume.”

    But if one always gets that message whenever you call – the call volume is not that unusual, now is it?

    “State-run AP” indeed.

  2. mr_bill says:

    You would think these folks at the Orchestrated Press would be killing themselves to find an accurate economist so they could run the story: “Unemployment Increased (or Decreased) Exactly as Predicted This Month.” Yet it never happens. Whatever direction the movement, always unexpected. You would think that somebody would have guessed right at least once by now. If they are always wrong and everything is always unexpected, why in the heck would we listen to anything they have to say?

  3. proreason says:

    468,000 Americans lost their jobs over the last 4 weeks.

    And it is reported as good news.

    We live in la la land.

  4. tranquil.night says:

    What the hell does any of this mean? Does anyone outside DC believe it? Does anyone in DC realize how intellectually disabled people who employ this data as factual look to even an undereducated young lad as myself?

    “The Labor Department said that first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 440,000”

    So does that mean the number of new people seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 43k last week? If so, does that mean those 43k found employment? What is a seasonal rate of 440k? Does that mean 440 thousand people have filed for (first-time) unemployment since the winter (or economic quarter) began? Does that mean only 440k jobs have been lost – well there’s another ‘unexpected’ article every week from the AP about that statistic..

    No. No. No. No.

    Whatever this jobless benefits figure is trying to imply, it factually isn’t even an indicator of anything. Yet it’s still spun and paraded (abstractly at best) as the newest sign of this jobless ‘recovery’ we’ve been in for 6 months.

    Blackouts in Venezuela are unexpected too despite 70% of their power coming from a hydroelectric system experiencing severe draught; then one day Hugo Chavez gets on his microphone and tells the country in his best Rush Limbaugh voice that the electric grid is failing.

    • proreason says:

      It means that the hollow-cheeked msm will do anything to serve their masters.

      The numbers are presented in a way to make them as confusing as possible, and then out of the indecipherable maze, they conclude that things are really looking great.

      The bottom line is that 468,000 people lost their jobs over the last 4 weeks. A nugget that is presented as an afterthought in the report.

      But even 468,000 is a meaningless statistic without the proper context.
      – what % of the employed does that represent?
      – how does that compare to historical averages? Above? Below? Outside the bounds of normalcy?
      – is it unusual after losing millions of jobe in the prior months?
      – based on past downturns, what phase of a recovery does it indicate? are we even in a recovery?
      – what are the long term trends?
      – how volatile have these statistics been long-term and short-term?
      – who has been the best at predicting for the past 13 months? What does he or she say now?

      One of the things you can easily determine is that msm reporters are mathematically illiterate. They have zero grasp of such things. And when people are illiterate, their interest level is minimal. They are incurious to understand and just want to minimize their contact with the uninteresting subject. For them, lacking even a basic understanding of math, the official governent reports might as well be written in a prehistoric language.

      So, even if they weren’t deliberately trying to misrepresent, they are hopelessly at the mercy of Administration sychophants who, every time, spin the numbers to their advantage.

      I would love to see a study of economic reports since the Moron’s inaugeration. After a few months of anger and rage at Bush, I’m sure that we would see that 95% of the reports since then have very explicitly stated that the economy is improving. The statistics to them are just like the weather to the warmists. Whatever happens, it proves their theory.

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    More chattering from the monkey cage John MG told us about a day or two ago.

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