It Looks Like The Huge Drop In Jobless Claims Was All Due To One Mystery State

UPDATE: A source explained to us exactly what happened and which state accounted for the plunge. Read more here.

Earlier this morning, the Department of labour reported that initial jobless claims plunged to 339K from 369K a week ago.

Economists were looking for a reading of 370k.

Immediately, Twitter exploded with tweets mocking Jack Welch, who claimed last week’s jobs report was fixed to artificially drop the September unemployment rate to 7.8 per cent from 8.1 per cent in August.

Coincidentally, cryptic messages came through from Bloomberg and the WSJ that raised doubts about today’s report. From Bloomberg:

One state accounted for most of the plunge in claims, a labour Department spokesman said as the data were issued to the press.

And from the WSJ:

“However, the report may not be as positive as the sharp drop indicates. A labour Department economist said one large state didn’t report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the decrease.”

Initially, rumours started circulating that an entire state’s worth of jobless claims was excluded.

The DoL was not immediately available to comment.

However, CNBC’s Kelly Evans is reporting that the discrepancy is that “one state did not process & report its typical seasonal workload” and that a rebound next week is likely.

We will update as we get more details.

jobless claims

Photo: @Kelly_Evans


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