How to make a scrumptious shit sandwich from economic reports

If you layer on enough condiments and toppings, even a dog turd sandwich can look good.
At least that is what the financial media believes. Take for example this headline from today: U.S. Unemployment Benefit Rolls Fall.

(Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans receiving claims for unemployment benefits dropped for the first time since January, adding to evidence the job market is starting to thaw.

The number of people collecting unemployment insurance plunged by 148,000 in the week to June 6, the most since November 2001, to 6.69 million, the Labor Department said today in Washington.

It looks great, but it doesn't smell very good. There is a faint odor about it. Let's lift up that slice of bread and look inside.

But nearly half of recipients at the end of last month had exhausted the 26 weeks of benefits provided under the regular state program without finding work, according to Labor Department data. That's a record and compared with about 36 percent in December 2007, when the recession began.

"It is unlikely that new hiring has picked up in any meaningful fashion," Joshua Shapiro, chief economist with MFR Inc., a consulting firm, wrote in a note to clients.

Oh, so instead of this being a good report, what the report really shows is that more and more people are TOTALLY SCREWED!
But doesn't it taste yummy?

Oh, sure. There are other things about the report that also smell rather pungent. For instance, the number of new unemployment claims was higher than last week, and the non-seasonally adjusted numbers of continuing claims dropped by a much smaller number of 85,500.

In fact, if you wanted to dig far enough down in this report, you will find out that there is nothing positive to this report at all. You see, while these poor people have dropped off the 26-week benefit list, they've merely been rolled over to the enhanced federal benefit list.

Still, millions of Americans are receiving unemployment compensation under an emergency federal program authorized by Congress last summer and extended by the Obama administration's stimulus package.

About 2.4 million people received benefits under that program in the week ending May 30, an increase of more than 102,000 from the previous week. That's in addition to the 6.7 million people receiving benefits under the 26-week program typically provided by states.

That's like cutting the dog turd into halves and telling us that it'll taste better because we can save the other half for dessert.

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economic scatology

They are trying to build up that EI which these cats believe the whole world revolves around, consumer confidence.

They don't get that they have tapped out the consumer by firing them, outsourcing their jobs, raiding their retirement and then lending them more money to spend through predatory practices.

I think we seriously need to trash consumer confidence as the indicator of focus.

Then, ya know the entire shift in politics went from policy to public relations. Kind of if one packages up some crap right and it all sounds good, then somehow magically it is good.

They seriously believe's all about manipulation of the masses...

as if that chicken didn't just come home to roost!

a picture is worth....562 words currently

income payments

the aggregate includes more than just gross wages, at least in national accounts and balance of payments statistics. The reason is that in these accounts, CE is defined as "the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an enterprise to an employee in return for work done by the latter during the accounting period". It represents effectively a total labour cost to an employer, paid from the gross revenues or the capital of an enterprise

Bob I haveelt like I have been eating those yummy

sandwiches for many, many years. :)

watching the news

Anyone notice they are calling this middle class wipe out "the new economy" and the "new America" and other such phrases trying to minimize this disaster?

and they never magically tell the personal story of the really truly f#@ked?

I have another question, should we put up tip jars for everyone who is out of a job and freaking out about paying the rent?

Today's unemployment numbers, when it's projected to get worst and that's from assumptions of about a 8% at this point...unemployment rate...

yet we have tons of states above 10% right now...

Maybe we should turn EP into a begging cup.

More condiments

This morning on Reuters Employers cutting back 401(k) plans

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A quarter of U.S. employers have eliminated matching contributions to employee 401(k) retirement plans since September to save money amid the economy's downturn, according to research released on Monday.

A quarter of U.S. employers also have instituted limited enrollment rather than open the savings plans to all employees, according to the study conducted for Charles Schwab Corp. by CFO Research Services.


So for those that just had their 401K's wiped out, it going to be a long uphill climb back to post-employment security.

Others catching onto this

Looks like I was earlier than most to realize that this report was BS.

I noticed something

on economics blogs. While I believe most of us writing actually do have significant backgrounds in economics and education that we can "self teach" and are insightful, there is a sort of ivory tower mentality to give a site credibility.

My stance is content not labels on most things. But that requires one has the ability to be a critical reader to really stand by that philosophy.

So, in other words, just keep building up your writing and insights, analysis because while I have observed....repeatedly...writers on EP are "first" and often that observation is picked up by others for their own insights, we don't get the credit we deserve.

I honestly think that's because we're still relatively new in comparison to the other economics blogs but also because our educational backgrounds, our official qualifications are titled something else.

I think that' ridiculous for engineering especially has a slew of skills that can be adapted for examining economic data but honestly anyone with basic mathematics can start learning, digging around in econ. Plus, some of this stuff, well, you have to be brain dead to not see the analysis flaws. Public relations on caca can only go so far!

I'm not saying we're all Simon Johnson, Stiglitz or Paul Krugman etc. here, but I have observed the pattern your reference implies repeatedly now.

Then some people's backgrounds actually do rival some of these other people, but no one on EP really flashes their "stats"...which I like, just focus in on the topic at hand.