While the September employment numbers were being manipulated, along with the previous two months’ numbers, something else was on the horizon. The weekly jobs claims skyrocketed from 46,000 last week to a “seasonally adjusted” 388,000. This is the highest number of applications submitted for unemployment benefits in four months.
The Labor Department says the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell slightly to 365,500, a level consistent with modest hiring.
Last week, California reported a large drop in applications, pushing down the overall figure to the lowest since February 2008.
This week, it reported a significant increase as it processed applications delayed from the previous week.
A department spokesman says the seasonally adjusted numbers “are being distorted … by an issue of timing.”
Additionally, retail sales continue to grow, as indicated in September’s numbers and construction began on new homes and apartments last month at the fastest pace in more than four years.
So I suppose that little failure to count the unemployment numbers correctly from California mixed up the numbers just in time for an October surprise, but the administration wasn’t counting on it coming back to bite them in the middle of October with a nearly 50K increase in jobless claims.