More "unexpected" bad economic news

As seems to be the case almost every week, new claims for unemployment benefits were not just higher than last week – they were unexpectedly higher. And in what is also common, the previous week’s higher than expected numbers were nudged even further upwards.

Look, if this was normal statistical guesses from whoever these “experts” are, they would guess too high just as often as they would guess too low.

But there are a couple of eyebrow-raisers here….

Striking Verizon workers filed 8,500 claims for jobless benefits last week, after submitting 12,500 applications the previous week, which covered the period for the August nonfarm payrolls survey.

What the heck? They have jobs but refuse to show up, and we are supposed to help? What kind of a screwed-up deal is this? Heck, maybe Obama can just implement an executive order that all striking union workers get paid their full salaries by us non-union taxpayers.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 417,000, the Labor Department said, but still nowhere near levels that would signal a recession.

I like how the Labor Department tries to spin it. The news is terrible – as it has been for months – and they say oh it’s not really that bad. This is a typical Obama administration ploy – nothing really counts as bad news because it could be even worse. If Obama had been running Japan he would have claimed the tsunami really wasn’t bad because he saved everyone who didn’t get killed.

The unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in June.

The article doesn’t say this, but of course this means that even more people have given up looking for jobs, so the “real” unemployment rate will remain in the mid-teens.

One thing we have to give Obama credit for is consistency.