John Ransom

Initial unemployment claims came out and, boy, there is great news.

Two states had upgrades to their computer systems and that likely caused them to under report claims, according to Bloomberg.

That means the media can report that “[j]obless claims in the U.S. declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006.”


“Jobless claims in the U.S.,” writes Bloomberg, “declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006 as work on computer systems in two states caused those employment agencies to report fewer applications.”


Now if the Obama administration could just figure out how to get all fifty states to upgrade their computer systems EVERY month...then...


I’m extremely grateful that Bloomberg choose this moment to tell us the truth that several states under reported claims.

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Too bad they buried in the 7th paragraph:

No states estimated jobless claims last week, the Labor Department spokesman said as the report was released to the press. A larger state and a smaller one that retooled their computer networks still provided the Labor Department with applications counts, though those tallies were smaller than typical. He also said that the decrease in filings probably didn’t signal a change in labor-market conditions.

Also, it would have been nice had Bloomberg not lied about jobless claims declining “to the lowest level since April 2006.” While that may be true in the technical sense, it certainly not true in the personal sense.

You know? Like in the sense of real people not losing jobs? Because isn't this what it's all about?


Bloomberg, in the same story, reported gravely that the “jobless rate dropped to 7.3 percent in August, the lowest since December 2008,” although they did acknowledge more people left the workforce only implying, not saying, that it resulted in a lower rate.

The big problem with stories like these, besides the big lies they tell, is it shows how institutionalized our country has become.

The institution of joblessness is the important thing, not what that institution means for real people who have real hardships.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.