Concerning January’s employment report, which we should recall the AP’s Christopher Rugaber described as “mostly encouraging,” and the matter of seasonal adjustments, the liberal chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report had this to say in the Wall Street Journal last night:
By Any Measure, the Jobs Disaster Continues
… Sometimes the employment numbers that are announced are simply not understood. January was supposed to have seen 157,000 jobs created. The news provoked relief and even enthusiasm in some quarters. But the supposed hiring was based on seasonally adjusted numbers—numbers adjusted to reflect regularly occurring shifts in employment, such as increased hiring of farm workers during crop harvests or retail employees after Thanksgiving. The real, unadjusted figures for January show that nearly 2.8 million jobs disappeared, which happened to be worse than the 2.63 million lost in January 2012. Even though the 157,000 jobs created were fewer than the 311,000 of January 2012, many commentators cheered because they don’t understand the effects of seasonal adjustment.
Or it could be that they don’t want to understand.
Or, even worse, they do understand, but are more worried about looking good over at the White House.