March 2nd, 2010

#1967: February blizzards "distort" unemployment data.

Can someone explain to me how the hell this is supposed to work? They're a-gearing up to released more "unexpected" unemployment figures, and the Obama administration has wound up its economic advise-o-bot to put it all in a context which doesn't make the economy look like it's sucking undead leprous goats.

When, y'know, the economy is sucking undead leprous goats.

"What?" You ask. "How can that be? Everyone says it's recovering!"

It's not recovering when the Democrats have to keep extending unemployment benefits in order to keep people from lynching the lot of them.

But I don't see how the blizzards are supposed to make unemployment look worse than it actually is. That's what Larry Summers means, isn't it? That the blizzards will give the appearance of February having lost more jobs than "expected"?

Or does the federal government process so many unemployment claims per day that a few days of shutdown is enough to clog the system?

It's just an excuse; that's all it is. Why doesn't Larry Summers just tell us his dog ate the jobs? "We were actually on track to have a net increase in jobs but my dog got into the economy and ate them all, so February is showing an unexpected decrease in employment."

I mean, read this:
Construction activity was hit particularly hard by the storms, but many restaurants and stores also had to close, putting the brakes on hiring plans and temporarily throwing some employees out of work.
These idiots are seriously expecting us to accept that a few days' worth of blizzards means more people filing for unemployment? For a few days?

If you're going to have construction done, a blizzard means postponing the work, not canceling it. The same goes for hiring: if you need people, you're going to hire them, either this week or next week after the blizzard is over.

If the blizzard keeps you home, it normally doesn't mean you've lost your job; you just lose a few days' income. That's it.

This announcement has all the character of someone who is grasping at straws. Only a complete idiot would buy it.