A few days ago we showed what happens when the Bureau of Labor Statistics is caught in a blatant lie. And while we exposed the difference between the NFP and the JOLTS data series, which in some ways are the "stock" effect of labor, it meant that the BLS also had to adjust its "flow" component: the initial weekly claims. Lo and behold, moments ago the DOL just reported last week's initial claims, which printed at a ridiculous 292K, 38K below expectations and the lowest level since April 2006, down from last week's 323K. On the surface great news. The problem once again is that this was a bold-faced lie. Only this time even the BLS admitted as much:
- LABOR SAYS CLAIMS DROP DUE TO COMPUTER UPGRADES IN TWO STATES
- LABOR SAYS FAULTY REPORTING BY STATES RESPONSIBLE FOR DROP
Specifically, a larger state and a smaller one that retooled their computer networks still provided the Labor Department with applications counts. Furthermore, the BLS also said that the decrease in filings probably didn’t signal a change in labor-market conditions. In other words, the number is garbage, and the BLS knows the reporting is faulty, but let's go ahead and report it anyway.
Next we await for the unemployment rate to hit -100% as the BLS upgrades from Windows 3.11 to Vista.
We would normally show the chart of Claims but what's the point: it's a bullshit number, it is made up, and now even the BLS admits it. And frankly why not: in a world in which the only thing that matters is how much liquidity Chairman Bernanke will inject, why even bother to care about news and fundamentals, something we said first in the summer of 2009, when we said the only "financial statement" that will matter is the H.4.1