Dizzy From the Spin

Three headlines this morning: “Jobless Claims Drop to 399,000 Last Week” from Reuters, “Jobless Claims at Lowest Level in 3 Weeks” from AP, and “U.S. jobless claims inch higher” from CBS Marketwatch.

The spins are sure different, but the details in the article are mostly the same.  It looks like the weekly numbers started to fall, but the moving average is still rising.  So everybody’s right, they’re just deciding which piece fits what they want to say.

Here are some of the quotes from the three articles:

New applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell to 399,000 people filed for state unemployment insurance payments in the week to Sept. 13, down 29,000 from a revised 428,000 the week before.

The widely watched four-week moving average of jobless claims rose to 410,750 in the Sept. 13 week from 408,750 the previous week. The moving average, regarded by economists as a truer reflection of the market than the more volatile weekly figure, has been rising since late August.

After rising for three straight weeks, new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in nearly a month…

The number of people continuing to draw benefits rose by 39,000 to 3.68 million in the Sept. 6 week, the latest week for which figures are available.

The four-week average for continuing claims gained 11,250 to 3.64 million.

The continuing claims figures do not include some 800,000 workers receiving federal benefits, which are available to workers who have exhausted their state benefits, typically after six months.

About 9 million Americans are officially classified as unemployed and 4 million more are either underemployed or discouraged.

I guess that’s why we need to get news from more than one source.