The Economy Gets Better and Better

I’ve written before about the glowing coverage Barack Obama receives despite the consistently terrible economic news. Today provides yet another example:

Fewer than expected file for unemployment

The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims fell sharply last week, while those filing ongoing claims rose to another all-time high, according to government data released Thursday.

There were 565,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended July 4, down 52,000 from a revised 617,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.

It was the lowest number since January and was below the consensus estimate of 603,000 from economists surveyed by Briefing.com.

Once again, Barack Obama gets a favorable headline: rather than stressing the all-time high in ongoing claims, it emphasizes a surprising fall in new claims. Eventually they reveal one reason that new claims have fallen:

Initial claims typically spike in July as automakers idle certain manufacturing plants, and the Labor Department adjusts its data for such seasonal factors.

However, many plant closures occurred early this year, said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wacovia Economics Group.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, initial claims were 577,506.

“The improvement in first week of July was exaggerated by the timing of plant closures,” Vitner said. “This is something we’re going to be dealing with throughout the month.”

Thank goodness America’s auto companies have been failing! Without that, new unemployment claims would have been much worse!