Social Question

p8prclip's avatar

Why does the media keep saying that jobless claims rose unexpectedly?

Asked by p8prclip (138points) February 4th, 2010

I can’t even count how many times over the last year that I’ve heard the media say “jobless claims rose unexpectedly”. I must be a freaking genius because I have not only been expecting the country to hemorrhage jobs. I am now expecting the media to claim that it’s unexpected…is it wrong to expect that others expect this as well?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

Sampson's avatar

It’s a facade. Either that, or they aren’t paying attention to what they say.

Spinel's avatar

The media in an entertainment industry. They have to add twists, suspense and exaggerations to keep viewers happy.

ETpro's avatar

Because that is what happened. Actually, I don’t know why economists found it a surprise, but theey had called for less losses or even a modest gain. It didn’t happen.

When job losses were less than expected over the past months, they have reported that too. Unless you’re talking about political operatives like Fox News, I don’t think the media has an agenda other than to deliver news in an interesting way so as to get as many viewers as possible, and thus sell as much advertising as possible.

YARNLADY's avatar

From what I see, it is the amount of the rise that is surprising. Many people did not see such a large increase in unemployment. It is scary that no one saw it coming.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

We’re heading into a depression that will make the 1930s look like a minor blip. Our corporate and political masters are trying to break it to the masses gently. At least until the former middle class has been sufficiently disarmed so the bastards can’t be overthrown.

Snarp's avatar

It’s unexpected because the stock market is going up and many companies are making money hand over fist and sticking it in the bank instead of spending it. The expectation is that as the market goes up, and companies make more money, they will hire more people and the unemployment rate will go down, but that’s not happening. I think the reason it’s not happening is that all the mechanization and off-shoring is finally coming round to bite us in the butt. Employers have laid off workers due to financial losses, but have realized that they didn’t really need those employees in the first place. Absent the widespread adoption of some dramatically new technology that creates a whole new industry to absorb the unemployed, we’re in this situation for the long haul.

Also, it’s unexpected because continued high unemployment rates depend on continually increasing real unemployment. When people give up looking for work they drop out of the numbers, so the reported rate should drop even if real unemployment is constant or even growing slightly. If the reported rate stays high for a long time, that means that real unemployment is probably actually growing fairly quickly.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

To amend my earlier remark. We are in a depression right now. Only a major reworking of the public/private sector relationship and forcing corporations to act in a socially responsible fashion are going to have any effect. The previous middle class in rapidly becoming part of the permanent underclass. We are rapidly approaching wealth-distribution ratios like those of third-world countries. Many people who were previously comfortable are now homeless. The vast majority of the generation coming up will never have the standard of living of their parents or grandparents. Government is now owned by corporate interests, who control the media and can manipulate voting patterns any way they want (thanks in part to the recent Supreme Court ruling). I see no hope in the short term. Until “Middle America” gets angry and radicalized enough to demand fundamental changes.

DrC's avatar

There are many different measures of jobs as well as unemployment, such as jobless claims, ADP report, continuing claims, payroll and non-farm payroll numbers, etc. These are estimated prior to the release of the report (some of these are monthly, some weekly). Anyway, when they actually get the report, the number might come out to be larger or smaller than they were expecting. This is what they refer to each time they come out with a monthly or weekly report.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther