It Looks Like The Huge Drop In Jobless Claims Was All Due To One Mystery State
Earlier this morning, the Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims plunged to 339K from 369K a week ago.
Economists were looking for a reading of 370k.
Immediately, Twitter exploded with tweets mocking Jack Welch, who claimed last week's jobs report was fixed to artificially drop the September unemployment rate to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent in August.
Coincidentally, cryptic messages came through from Bloomberg and the WSJ that raised doubts about today's report. From Bloomberg:
One state accounted for most of the plunge in claims, a Labor Department spokesman said as the were issued to the press.And from the WSJ:
"However, the report may not be as positive as the sharp drop indicates. A Labor Department economist said one large state didn't report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the decrease."
Initially, rumors started circulating that an entire state's worth of jobless claims was excluded.
The DoL was not immediately available to comment.
However, CNBC's Kelly Evans is reporting that the discrepancy is that "one state did not process & report its typical seasonal workload" and that a rebound next week is likely.
We will update as we get more details.
Data Massaging Continues: Initial Claims Tumble To 339K Lowest Since 2008, Far Below Lowest ExpectationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/11/2012 - 08:42 BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics New Normal Steve Liesman Trade Deficit Unemployment This is just getting stupid. After expectations of a rebound in initial claims from 367K last week (naturally revised higher to 369K), to 370K (with the lowest of all sellside expectations at 355K), the past week mysteriously, yet so very unsurprisingly in the aftermath of the fudged BLS unemployment number, saw claims tumble to a number that is so ridiculous not even CNBC's Steve Liesman bothered defending it, or 339K.
Ironically, not even the Labor Department is defending it: it said that "one large state didn't report some quarterly figures."
Great, but what was reported was a headline grabbing number that is just stunning for reelection purposes. This was the lowest number since 2008. The only point to have this print? For 2-3 bulletin talking points at the Vice Presidential debate tonight. Everything else is now noise. It is also sad that the US "economy" has devolved to such trivial data fudging on a week by week basis, which makes even the Chinese Department of Truth appear amateurish by comparison. Needless to say, Not Seasonally Adjusted initial claims jumped by 26K to 327K in the past week but who's counting. Finally, what is the reason for ongoing QEternity if the employment situation is now back to normal. Finally, in completely ignored news, because who needs global trade when you have toner cartridge, and generally ink, the US trade deficit in August rose by 4.1% to $44.2 billion, on expectations of a deterioration to $44.0 billion. Then again nobody talks about the US trade deficit during presidential debates so all good here.