September 3, 2011

BLS - do you need the 'L'?

The Unemployment Rate remained unchanged in August at 9.1%.  I've been critical of the numbers reporting in the past, given that the retroactive adjustments always seemed to work to the convenience of the Obama administration.  The number after being widely reported would be later adjusted upwards with little or no fanfare.  Or, the other adjustment would often seem like it was retroactively bumping up the previous month to make the current month's bad news seem less worrisome by comparison.  In other words, the numbers might be pure, but only if you look back far enough.  Sure, maybe it's unintentional, but the adjustments never seem to be of equal distribution between good news and bad news for President Obama.  Color me suspicious. Take out the L from BLS, and you have my view at a minimum, on the way the numbers get reported.

Bet you didn't expect this photo either!
All that said, with the swath of bad news, I do still expect the unemployment rate to tick down a tenth of a percent to 9.0% in September.  There is a seasonality factor to consider.  When you combine that with the BS BLS scoring, there's enough to potentially outweigh the economic bad news related to the housing market.  That's okay, unless we suddenly see it drop a tick every month from now until November 2012.  That will put the rate at 7.7% just in time for the election.  That truly would happen 'unexpectedly'.

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