April 12, 2012

At AP, 13K Jump in Jobless Claims After 10K Added to Previous Week Is a ‘Tick Up’ With ‘Leveling Off’

SpinToday’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report from the Department of Labor revealed that, after seasonal adjustment, 380,000 Americans filed initial applications for unemployment benefits the week ending April 7. That figure was 13,000 higher than the week ending March 31. The AP headline at Christopher Rugaber’s report as of 9:18 a.m.: “US applications for unemployment aid tick up.”

Additionally, the March 31 initial claims figure of 357,000 was revised upward to 367,000. So the April 7 figure of 380,000 — even before it almost certainly gets revised up next week (upward revisions have occurred in 53 of the past 54 weeks I have tracked) — is 23,000 higher than what DOL initially reported for March 31. Yet Rugaber didn’t tell his readers about the degree of the revision to March 31. Several paragraphs from the AP report, which contains an excuse which seasonal adjustment if done correctly by DOL should have covered, follow the jump (bolds are mine):

US applications for unemployment aid tick up

More people sought unemployment benefits last week, suggesting that the job market’s recovery remains slow.

The increase also likely reflects some seasonal volatility because applications for unemployment aid frequently rise around the Easter holiday. Many school employees are temporarily laid off during spring breaks and can file for benefits.

Weekly unemployment benefit applications jumped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s figures were also revised higher. The four-week average, a less volatile gauge, rose to 368,500.

After steadily declining since last fall, applications have leveled off in recent weeks.

The increase “doesn’t ring any alarm bells,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Applications can be choppy.”

But the trend bears watching, he said.

Business Insider’s daily email carried a consensus prediction of 359,000.

Here’s the AP’s definition of “leveled off in recent weeks”:


Really, Chris? A half-dozen more weeks of such “leveling” and we’ll see ourselves smack dab in the middle of a recession (not that I’m predicting one; I’m just saying that you don’t see claims jump like they have in the past two weeks and try to call it “leveling off”).

The furiously spinning headlines and content at the AP, aka the Administration’s Press, continue to get ever more embarrassing. Subscribers pay for this stuff? If I were one, I would be “ticked off” at the pathetic “tick up” reporting.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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