'Mystery State' Behind Plunging Jobless Claims
Apparent snafu, probably by California, leads to 4-year low
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Oct 11, 2012 10:46 AM CDT
A Lowes store advertises job openings near its gas grills outside the home improvement store in Pembroke, Mass., May 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

(Newser) – Jobless claims plunged to 339,000 this week, putting them at a four-and-a-half-year low and drastically lower than the 370,000 economists expected, the Labor Department announced today. But there was a fly in the ointment. A department spokesperson said that one large state accounted for a large portion of the decline, the AP reports. A Wall Street Journal report indicated that the state "didn't report additional quarterly figures as expected." (MarketWatch thinks it has to be California.)

A CNBC correspondent later tweeted that the state appears to have failed to process "its typical seasonal workload," Business Insider reports. Weekly job numbers are prone to volatility anyway, the department noted. "Throw out the number and we'll try again next week," one trader tells CNBC. Numbers overall are headed in a good direction—the more stable four-week average fell to 364,000; anything below 375,000 is considered a sign the economy is adding jobs. Of course, it's probably a matter of time before Jack Welch says the missing state weirdness is a sign of White House book-cooking.

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Showing 3 of 89 comments
Oct 12, 2012 11:26 AM CDT
People don't believe the rate going down to 7.8% the real numbers is 14.1% they don't count the underemployed, people who gave up. They only recorded people with part time temporary or seasonal jobs. I hope president failure odumbo will not get re-elected.
Oct 11, 2012 6:17 PM CDT
The truth is.... Some states do hold back those government statistics, on jobs, crime, etc....... You can LOOK up they're websites, and it's plainly written...... A lot of major cities don't report they're crime rates to the FBI, so they look safer than they are, and I believe some Democrat states delayed they're unemploynent numbers now..... That's why you always see the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, revising they're numbers..... They're adding the new figures up allways.... YOU have noticed that, havn't you? ..... (state delays in reporting are for many reasons, and are NOT a crime, but can cause misinformation)...... Watch the job reports get updated and revised,..... IF you want to know the truth.
Oct 11, 2012 3:54 PM CDT
The real story is why Jack Walsh needs attention. Enough people dislike him.