October 3, 2015

Raw Jobs Numbers the Press Won’t Disclose Paint an Even Uglier Picture Than Currently Reported

In their coverage of government and other economic reports, the business press routinely tells readers that the figures they are relaying are “seasonally adjusted.” That is, raw results are smoothed out to supposedly “remove normal, recurring variations” in data.

There’s one notable exception: The government’s monthly employment report. As has been their habit for as long as I have been following these things, various Associated Press reports in the past several days (examples here, here and here) and at yesterday’s New York Times failed to tag yesterday’s reported gain in payroll jobs of 142,000 as “seasonally adjusted.” There appears to be no reason for this other than to discourage curiosity among those who might otherwise be inclined to dig deeper. Doing so sometimes reveals that the seasonally adjusted figures understate the job market’s strength. Other times, they appear to overstate it. As seen after the jump, especially in the private sector, the poor seasonally adjusted results of the past two months are nowhere near as bad as the underlying raw data:

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AP, NY Times Fail to Report Absence of Power, Kerry From Netanyahu UN Speech

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations. As described by George Jahn at the Associated Press, it was “an impassioned speech interspersed with bouts of dramatic silence.”

Jahn failed to report the absence of U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and Secretary of State John Kerry. So did Rick Gladstone and Judi Rudoren at the New York Times. An unbylined Reuters report drily noted that U.S. representation at Netanyahu’s speech consisted of “Ambassador Samantha Power’s deputy, David Pressman, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro.” Breitbart also noted the presence of “Richard Erdman, Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly.” Reuters uniquely explained why Power and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in town, did not attend (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100315)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: ‘Hero’ Umpqua Community College Student Chris Mintz Was Shot 7 Times

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Roseburg, Oregon:

Oct 2, 2015, 11:11 AM ET

The student and Army veteran who witnesses say charged the shooter at a community college in Oregon is alert and awake at the hospital as he recovers.

Chris Mintz, 30, was shot seven times during the Thursday rampage, but he says his main concern is about the others who were injured.

“I just hope that everyone else is OK,” he told ABC News this morning.

“I’m just worried about everyone else.”

The man’s actions in the fatal shooting, where 10 people died and seven, including himself, were injured, did not go unnoticed by his peers.

“He ran to the library and pulled the alarms and he was telling people to run, grabbing people, telling them, ‘You just have to go,’” witness Hannah Miles told ABC News.

“He actually ran back towards the building where the shooting was and he ran back into the building and I don’t know what happened to him,” she said of Mintz.

Mintz’s cousin launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for his ensuing medical bills.

“During the shooting both of his legs were broken and he is going to have to go through a ton of physical therapy,” Mintz’s cousin Derek Bourgeois wrote on the page.

“He is a father, a veteran, a student, and now he’s a hero,” Bourgeois wrote on the GoFundMe page, beneath a picture of Mintz and his son. …

Go here for the rest of the story.