At what point does the media drop “unexpectedly” from its unemployment stories?
I mean, for heaven sake, it seems that weekly the “experts” are surprised by an “unexpected rise” in unemployment statistics. This week was no different than the “unexpected rise” last week:
Unemployment claims filed last week rose unexpectedly, coming in at 496,000, up 22,000 from the previous week.
Taken with other discouraging news released this week — record-low January new home sales and a slide in consumer confidence — the new jobless claims number describes a slow and uncertain recovery.
Forecasters had expected 460,000 new jobless claims to be filed last week
The four-week moving average of new jobless claims — which smooths out volatility in the week-to-week numbers — rose 6,000 to 473,750.
Key phrase – “slow and uncertain recovery”. So a continued “rise” in unemployment, even to this weeks actual numbers, shouldn’t be “unexpected” in such a recovery. Why it is so important to predict what the next week’s unemployment stats will be anyway? As often as they’ve been wrong and seen “unexpected” numbers you have to wonder why they even bother. More significantly, given the track record, you have to wonder why the media even bothers with their numbers. The numbers are what they are. From those numbers we should be able to understand the condition of the economy. But I’m tired of seeing “unexpected” numbers every week treated as some sort of surprise by a group whose credibility was shot a long time ago.