Since his personality meltdown in the Oct. 3 Denver debate, President NerObama's sharp drop in the polls has been stabilized only by a series of unexpectedly favorable reports on the economy, strongly highlighted in most media, almost seeming to have been ordered up by Obama's Chicago campaign team. But the latest one — yesterday's weekly unemployment claims report — is rapidly unraveling in a way which reopens the potential fraud of last week's September payrolls report.
After reporting that new unemployment claims in the week ending Oct. 5 dropped by 30,000 from the previous week, to 339,000 — the lowest level in more than four years — the Labor Department watched stocks rise and various economists weigh in that the economy is clearly improving faster than expected, etc. But by the afternoon, the Department had all but acknowledged the report to be a fraud. A Department source acknowledged to Fox News that a "seasonal adjustment" magnified the effect of "one large state" leaving out (failing to count) some unemployment claims at the start of the fourth quarter last week. The state is almost certainly California, and the number of claims uncounted is 15-20,000, according to other sources' acknowledgments to CNN and Business Insider. So, the number of omitted new claims was already a large one, and the "seasonal adjustment" made it significantly larger. The result was a large drop in unemployment claims reported, which (now) admittedly did not occur.
This immediately turns the spotlight back on the Oct. 5 Labor Department report on September unemployment rate, after a week in which former GE CEO Jack Welsh, who called that report a political fake, has been attacked by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and by virtually every economic journalist who has employment of one hour a week or more. Solis et al. had insisted that of course, the same professional, objective methodology used for decades, was used to calculate the September unemployment rate, and that "volatility" does occur. (This continuity claim, as EIR and others have shown over those decades, is not true; but assume it for the moment.) The same could be said about the Labor Department's methodology of calculating weekly unemployment claims, or California's methodology for counting them.
While that method is being carried out, if unusual "seasonal" and other adjustment assumptions are applied to the right part of the process, a predictably anomalous report will result, which may be politically convenient. Such a manipulation does not require "a huge conspiracy involving hundreds of dedicated civil servants", as the gullible have been told for the past week.
Very politically convenient (and very anomalous) reports for Obama's re-election chances have now appeared three times in two weeks, including the Labor Department's Sept. 27 "annual adjustment" of total "job creation" during Obama's entire term.
Huffington Post and Fox Business News reported this morning that House Government Oversight Committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa's next hearing will investigate the Labor Department's September jobs report. The Committee's spokesman said at 3:00 PM, however, "While Chairman Issa ... yesterday did state that he believes there are legitimate questions about the Department of Labor's method for calculating unemployment, the Oversight Committee has not announced or decided to hold hearings on the September unemployment report."