Letter: Seasonally adjusted jobless figures' math questioned
For the week ending Feb. 2, the latest jobless claims seasonally adjusted weekly figure of 366,000 is trending down, according to the labor department!
The reason the figure is seasonally adjusted is due to the previous week's jobless claims were seasonally adjusted up to show 3,000 more claims than originally reported.
Mathematically, that means the previous week had 361,000, but had only reported 358,000. Somehow with those figures, the moving four-week average (also seasonally adjusted) went down 2,250 to 355,000. I'm confused as to both the math and the analysis as a declining trend. Both figures were adjusted above 360,000, yet the four-week "moving average" went down to 355,000.
I'm no Einstein, but analyzing this as a sign of improvement is semantically wrong. True, this is only a count of those new claims. The total claims jumped up by 8,000 in the week ending Jan. 26, bringing "continuing" unemployed figure to 3.2 million.
Why don't I trust that figure? Because it ignores those millions more who either have run out of 99 weeks of benefits or they just stopped looking. A better figure would be the real workforce divided by those without a job.
Jobs are revenue and taxes are a penalty for being successful and an incentive to reduce income.