After this morning's surprisingly positive jobless claims number was released, three things happened:
1.Lots of people felt better about the economy
2.Democrats cheered because they thought the number would help Obama
3.Republicans seized on confusing reports that the numbers had "excluded claims from one large state" (probably California) and blasted the number as wrong and misleading.
Since then, the argument has raged on, and there have been a variety of different reports and interpretations.
Well, we're glad to say that we've finally gotten to the bottom of what happened.
We spoke to a source at the Labor Department. According to this source, who is an analyst at the Department, here's what happened: ALL STATES WERE INCLUDED in this week's jobless claims. Assertions that "a large state" was excluded from the report are patently false.
HOWEVER... It is likely that some of the jobless claims in one large state--California--were not included in the claims reported to the Department of Labor this week
. This happens occasionally, our source says. When a state's jobless claims bureau is short-staffed, sometimes the state does not process all of the claims that came in during the week in time to get them to the DOL. The source believes that this is what happened this week. The California claims that were not processed in time to get into this week's jobless report will appear in future reports
, most likely next week's or the following week's. In other words, those reports might be modestly higher than expected. (Bold added)