Saturday, September 28, 2013

BLS senior management should be added to the initial claims statistic

The chart below shows US initial jobless claims without the seasonal adjustment. See anything wrong with this picture?

Claims count had a sudden unprecedented decline and remains at these low levels (expectations have been that claims should have risen materially this week.) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admitted they had a "glitch" in the benefits systems (see chart), which they claim has been corrected last week. If this is accurate, the nation has had an unprecedented improvement in the job market - seemingly out of nowhere. That means the payrolls data for September should be spectacular. That is unlikely.
WSJ: - MFR Inc. economist Joshua Shapiro said the monthly jobs reports as well as the other data such as withholding tax receipts have pointed to a weaker labor market. "Our belief is that the claims data should not be taken at face value as they are inconsistent with too much other evidence," he said.
Given how critical employment data are in this economic environment - both in terms of monetary and fiscal policy - this is not an error that can simply be ignored. Someone senior a BLS should be added to the initial jobless claims number.
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