The Fuzzy Numbers Behind Initial Job Claims

Goverment statistics delude us once again

by Chris Martenson
Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity

“Fuzzy Numbers” is one of the most popular video chapters within The Crash Course. It explains many of the ways that government statisticians routinely distort economic truth, making things seem rosier than they are:

[…] Please note that this is a non-partisan observation – every administration since LBJ has perpetuated and expanded the practice of economic self-delusion.

Debunking The Initial Jobs Claims Number

Today we’re going to solve the mystery of the low Initial Jobless Claims number we’ve been seeing recently. It’s not nearly as low as advertised once you dig into the underlying ‘fuzzy’ math.

The ‘Initial Jobless Claims’ statistic measures the number of people filing for unemployment benefits. If more people are filing, the number goes up; presumably more people are losing their jobs and the employment rate is falling.

Oppositely, if fewer claims are filed, fewer people are losing their jobs and the employment rate is rising.

So low is good, and rising is bad.

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