by Dan Crosby
of The Daily Pen
NEW YORK, NY - The state of California has the largest population of any state in America. It has an economy which, if it were an independent nation, would rank in the top 10 in the world.
It also has one of the highest rates of unemployment in America, above 10%. In some counties in the state’s central agricultural region, unemployment is around 25%.
Considering these metrics, one would think it might be necessary for a federal government report on the national labor rate to include the Golden State.
One would think this, unless you are a democrat seeking re-election by padding job numbers to make it appear like your liberal economic policies are working when they are not.
After this week’s surprisingly positive jobless claims number was released, three things happened according to Business Insider.
1. Lots of people felt better about the economy
2. Democrats cheered because they thought the number would help Obama
3. Republicans seized on confusing reports that the numbers had "excluded claims from one large state" (probably California) and blasted the number as wrong and misleading.
Since then, the argument has raged on, and there have been a variety of different reports and interpretations. Well, we're glad to say that we've finally gotten to the bottom of what happened.
We spoke to a source at the Labor Department. According to this source, who is an analyst at the Department, here's what happened:
- ALL STATES WERE INCLUDED in this week's jobless claims. Assertions that "a large state" was excluded from the report are patently false.
However, dissenters are not saying California was excluded. They are saying that California did not provide its state labor statistics before the deadline required by the publisher of this particular report. Of course, California was not excluded. It was included and the number published was 0. Zero because California did not provide statistics. Here’s how economists explain:
- It is likely that some of the jobless claims in one large state--California--were not included in the claims reported to the Department of Labor this week. This happens occasionally, our source says. When a state's jobless claims bureau is short-staffed, sometimes the state does not process all of the claims that came in during the week in time to get them to the DOL. The source believes that this is what happened this week.
- The California claims that were not processed in time to get into this week's jobless report will appear in future reports, most likely next week's or the following week's. In other words, those reports might be modestly higher than expected.
- The source believes that the number of California claims that were not processed totalled about 15,000-25,000. Thus, if one were to "normalize" the overall not-seasonally-adjusted jobless claims number, it would increase by about 15,000-25,000.
- This week's "normalized" jobless claims number, therefore, would be about 355,000-365,000, not the 339,000 that was reported. This compares to the 370,000 consensus expectation.
In other words, had all of California's jobless claims been processed in time to make the jobless-claims release, this jobless number would still have been better than economists were expecting--but not as much better as it appeared.
Again, the as-yet-unprocessed claims will appear in future reports. So next week's number may well be higher than expected.
So, who's right about today's jobless claims number?
- Jobless claims were better than expected, even after adjusting for an unusual anomaly
- There was an unusual anomaly that made this week's jobless claims look better than they would otherwise have been.
Of course, there was a motive to create good news after Barack Obama's abysmal performance at the first 2012 presidential debate, just before the jobs reports came out. One way to do that is fake key economic indicators in favor of Obama.