There is so much misinformation reported by our gov't departments, it's hard to know what is really happening outside of your own personal sphere.
For example, on 9/2/2010 the Labor Dept reported that unemployment claims DROPPED by 6,000 to 472,000 beating economists estimates of 475,000. This week, they dropped by 27,000 to 451,000. Doing simple math you realize that they revised the 472,000 number up to 478,000 - meaning that on September 2, the report didn't beat estimates, but missed.
What confidence does anyone have in these numbers?
According to the Labor Dept the number of unadjusted claims was 376,558. Give them credit for realizing that in the last week of summer you need to revise the number higher, so they appear to have added 74,000 to the unadjusted number.
But lets look a bit closer - this weeks number included the loss of Federal Census workers and the total of Federal Employees seeking unemployment was 4,720 PLUS another 2,648 newly discharged veterans. That amounts to 7,368 (remember this number).
Now, when you go back one week, the number of total of Federal Employees seeking unemployment was 25,031 and an additional 40,830 newly discharged veterans. Therefore, last week the official number of 472,000 (revised up to 478,000) included 65,861 federal employees in the equation.
So, what you really need to know about unemployment is that with this weeks adjusted number dropped by 27,000 but DID NOT INCLUDE 58,223 (65,861 - 7,368) Federal Workers that existed in the previous week.
What does THAT tell you about the number of PRIVATE SECTOR jobs added this week? If that many Federal Workers were added to the unemployment rolls we would have broken 500,000 claims with ease this week.
The worst part is that in an age of instant information, the gov't statistics are obfuscated in ways that make the common man/woman work too hard to see the truth. Our gov't is a giant tool of the party in power, far from the hopes of "Of the people and for the people".