Jobless Benefits Numbers Skew Reporting

A larger than expected drop in jobless claims last week was the result of one large state not filing their quarterly report, not the result of more jobs being filled. YAHOO! Finance reports the Labor Department said jobless claims fell by a seasonally-adjusted rate of 30,000 last week, resulting in a four-year-low of 339,000, which in turn spurred financial markets. The state did file weekly claims, but quarterly claims generally reflect people re-applying for benefits rather than being newly out of work, which skews the numbers. Instead of a sign of a regenerative healthy job market, the slip-up may increase perception labor market figures cannot be trusted. As MHProNews has learned, while the Labor Dept. cannot be faulted for one state’s reporting error, it could have been more forthcoming when the figures were originally released.

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