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# On Government DOL Misrepresentations Part 2: Following The Money, Or In This Case The Average Unemployment Paycheck

Yesterday's post on documented Treasury outlays for unemployment insurance benefits, spurred various questions which we wanted to shed some light on. To recap: the gist of the post was that the divergence of average monthly premia paid by the Federal government, superimposed with actual changes in the population of those collecting unemployment insurance (per the government's data) has diverged dramatically. The key premise in the analysis is that average monthly "allowance" paycheck has been relatively flat, and while there have been marginal changes (\$25 dollar increases to a fraction of the population eligible for such increase), the core of the problem is captured by the chart below. As one can see, the average monthly payment since the beginning of Fiscal 2008 has been \$1,207. If one excludes the divergent period since March of 2009, the average was just \$1,109 per month. Yet the most recent data indicates that in December, according to the government's data, the actual outlay came down to \$1,536, 21% higher to the total average, and 28% to the narrower average payment of \$1,109. Is the government engaged in another, stealth stimulus by gradually padding unemployment insurance benefits? After all the money printer is on, and with banks not lending, what easier way to get the money straight to the (unemployed) population.

The divergence becomes even starker, when presented on a year-over-year basis: in December the YoY variation is a stunning 48%. We apologize, but we must have missed the math class where a \$25 increase in the weekly allowance of roughly \$300, translates into a nearly 50% in payments from a year prior.

Once again - we merely present the facts. Their interpretation is open, as we have not formally queried the Treasury on this divergence. Yet, two themes are apparent. As we indicated before the math is simple: we know how much money is being spent on unemployment insurance and how many people are collecting said money. There are two options: those on benefits have stealthily seen their paycheck increase by 48% compared to a year ago (all else equal), or, more realistically (especially if you discuss this topic with people on insurance benefits, who will tell you that very few of them have actually seen any improvement in their weekly Uncle Sam "payroll"), either a shadow group of "unemployed" is getting more and more payments which is, as of yet, unaccounted for in the DOL database, or, and most dangerously, the Federal Government is somehow compensating for declines in State budget funding for insurance payments. Zero Hedge will perform a state by state analysis of insurance outlays next to control for this particular variable. However, we do believe that there is substantial doubt as to just what is really happening in this most critical of data series for the viability of the economy, that Tim Geithner's office should publicly address some of the presented observations. After all, the money he is being so generously unaccountable with, is money that belongs to each and every one of us.

## Comment viewing options

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 07:37 | Cognitive Dissonance

"After all, the money he is being so generously unaccountable with, is money that belongs to each and every one of us."

Sadly they don't see this money as belonging to the tax payer. I believe they feel this way because no one has any intention of ever paying this money back. It will be forever rolled over, just like the money "borrowed" last year, last decade, last century.

Inflation is their intention, regardless of what they say for public consumption. In their eyes, inflation makes everything better, just as long as inflation is managed to the point that the average Joe doesn't notice much more than a gradual increase in overall prices, which most people think is "normal".

Inflation is considered part of the float, found money, a way to raise "taxes" no Congress critter must vote for but most certainly benefits from by way of increased government spending, hopefully in their district. And of course, don't forget contributions from the lobby, who also benefit from increased governmental spending.

See, the Congress critters and Administration pukes know exactly what they're doing.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:30 | William Wallace

It is pointless to argue from the Constitution with America's political elites, because to them the Constitution is only a meaningless piece of paper.  But Amendment 5 clearly states, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Inflation is an uncompensated, unjust taking of Americans' savings.  It is a crime forbidden by the Constitution.

To our political elite, however, it is a sweet move that demonstrates their intelligence and manipulative skill, as they fill the world with their good works financed by tax money and (increasingly) borrowed and printed money.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:06 | Cognitive Dissonance

"It is pointless to argue from the Constitution with America's political elites, because to them the Constitution is only a meaningless piece of paper."

Agreed. In fact, because the vast majority either respect the constitution or at least accept it as guidelines and the elite do not, we're immediately at a disadvantage from day one.

While we (the majority) are either constrained by the systems and institutions put in place to enforce the constitution or we self police, the financial elite use those very same systems to exploit and manipulate us for their benefit.

I'm torn between our own stupidity and laziness for buying into an obviously unfair system and their evil and self interested exploitation of us and the system. In my view, it comes down to a simple calculation. They are willing to go to any length to further their goals and we are not. Worse, we allow them to make the rules and police the game.

As Bailey once said, there's a sucker born every minute and I'm one of them.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:48 | Cursive

@CD

Do you remember that satirical ZH post wherein Bernanke (on a break in the men's room) chuckles at the representative that asked him about HIS gold?  Classic.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 00:53 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 08:58 | Chopshop

thanks for another great piece, TD.

wondering if someone can chime in with what the maximum permissible monthly or weekly UE check is (in \$ terms).

could recently laid-off 'higher' scale job-seekers (versus 'lower' strata folk laid off / unemployed from a much earlier 'starting point' as well as those no longer counted within the BLS-esque / BCS-esque bs tracking methodology itself)  be upwardly skewing the various methodologies of calculating various mean(s), as well as the metric' median ??

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:09 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:35 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:16 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 21:25 | Anonymous
Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:42 | Landrew

In IL. the max is 347 this I knew the hard way. I have read the max in CA. is 1800\$ can this be right?

the max weekly in New York is \$405 and has been for years.  Additionally, there is the extra \$25 per week from the alleged stimulous act of early 2009.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:24 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:18 | WaterWings

So each week daddy thinks about it..."Nah, that's a lot of beer. Next week. Yeah, next week sounds better."

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:48 | Landrew

Get real! The max doesn't even pay the rent! Who could live like that for long? 2 yrs. and your savings gone, what next. Not sure I want to live in a country that doesn't care about employment. What about loss of corporate citizenship for companies with majority employment overseas?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 14:29 | mrhonkytonk1948

I was laid off from a 6-figure job at HP here in Texas.  Max payment is \$505 a week according to website.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 12:21 | slovester

Your figure seemed high to me, so I visited the TWC site to check it out.  According to the Estimated Unemployment Benefits calculator page:

"The estimate of possible benefits may differ from actual benefits available to you. TWC will use wages reported to us by your employers to calculate your actual benefit amount. The current minimum Weekly Benefit Amount is \$59.00 and the current maximum Weekly Benefit Amount is \$406.00."

This if for the initial 26 week UE period.  Have no idea why the descrepancy between your figures and this.  FWIW

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:44 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:23 | Lonewar

Max in California is \$450.00 per week with an additional \$25.00 in Stimulus.

The checks are mailed every other week so a person would get \$950.00 per check (Not counting the first and last weeks benefits, and not counting if they are now receiving reduced benefits because of part time employment.)

The way the government calculates monthly benefit amounts is by taking that \$950.00 and multiplying it by 2.167 for \$2058.65 per month in maximum benefits.

It is multiplied by 2.167 for the two times (three times every 9 years) that a person will get 3 checks in a month and not the usual two.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:50 | Landrew

Thanks for the info. I see why people get these numbers wrong so often.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:05 | Scooby Dooby Doo

"we have not formally queried the Treasury on this divergence."

What are you waiting for? Woops I forgot, why ask when you know what their BS answer will be.

"Zero Hedge will perform a state by state analysis of insurance outlays next to control for this particular variable."

Really looking forward to the outcome of this analysis but could the states also be in full obfuscation mode. Good luck to the financial reverse engineering team, neck deep.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:12 | Instant Karma

I vote for unemployment under reported by the BLS.

I guess I don't consider the monsoon of green confetti being spent in Washington as my money. Under an oppressive state nothing is really "yours" lest of all "currency" or money. The only thing I have some confidence in is "stuff" not paper.

The government wants me in my house paying my mortgage, they want me driving my car to work, and, for now, I can freely convert my dollars into commodities.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>>more realistically (especially if you discuss this topic with people on insurance benefits, who will tell you that very few of them have actually seen any improvement in their weekly Uncle Sam "payroll"), either a shadow group of "unemployed" is getting more and more payments which is, as of yet, unaccounted for in the DOL database, or, and most dangerously, the Federal Government is somehow compensating for declines in State budget funding for insurance payments.<<

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:17 | lawton

The maximum unemployment payment is determined by the state you are in. In Florida the max is \$ 275 a week but people are getting \$ 300 a week now due to the stimulus bill. Florida is one of the lower paying states however and some people get quite a bit more a week in other states.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:28 | Master Bates

Wow, I must be lucky to live in Colorado, where the maximum is 487 a week, plus the government's 25 bucks.

I've been making about 440 a week after taxes for two months now to look for a job.  Of course, it's nothing like the 1100 a week I was bringing home before.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:19 | Instant Karma

Off topic.

-34 F in Fargo, North Dakota this morning, record cold. Global cooling strikes again. Like the blizzard in Copenhagen during the "climate change" conference and the record blizzard in Washington D.C. when Air Force One tried to return from said conference.

How are we to combat global cooling?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:50 | Enkidu

Spend someone else's money on it?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:19 | Chopshop

a beautiful (light) snowy morn here in nyc.

-34 F in Fargo, N. dakoter / record global cooling ~ mother nature's way of underscoring our current ice-age-scale deflationary depression.

dutch tulips in 1637. chinese garlic in 2009.  tulip bulbs, garlic bulbs, dim-witted bulbous-greed behind each. from corcyra to korea to kandahar, nothing ever changes but technology and aesthetics.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:53 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:04 | PierreLegrand

Dear Jackass,

Have you noticed that most of the evidence used to construct your fantasy of Human Caused Warming is a big pile of steaming bullshit?

Everything that the following clowns have participated in regarding Climate and that is a lot indeed is a fraud.

• Mike Mann: lead conspirator in the United States
• Phil Jones: lead conspirator in the United Kingdom
• Tom Wigley: older conspirator who becomes increasingly worried about the unfolding scandal
• Keith Briffa: older conspirator whose blunders lead the others to all but abandon him
• Ben Santer: dangerously arrogant and naive young conspirator in the United States
• Gosh maybe you can move on to your next series of crisis in order to gain control of your fellow man. What's next? Ice Age? Rainforest depletion? Polar Bears extinction?

You and your fellow travelers beclown the enviromental movement.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:43 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 14:10 | PierreLegrand

Dear Denier,

There is this thing called "weather". That means it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. When it's cold it snows instead of raining.

Which is reason enough to direct hate towards him since he is one of those enabling the cretins in our government trying to take over our way of life in order to "save" us from the bullshit those climate "scientists" have generated. I suggest you read the Green Agenda to find out what those in the "enviromental" movement have planned.

http://www.green-agenda.com/index.html

Here are a few tasty bits...

"The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
The real enemy then, is humanity itself
."
- Club of Rome,
premier environmental think-tank,
consultants to the United Nations

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We need to get some broad based support,
to capture the public's imagination...
So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
make simplified, dramatic statements
and make little mention of any doubts...
Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.
"
- Prof. Stephen Schneider,
Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We've got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
we will be doing the right thing in terms of
economic and environmental policy.
"
- Timothy Wirth,
President of the UN Foundation

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"No matter if the science of global warming is all phony...
climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
bring about justice and equality in the world
."
- Christine Stewart,
former Canadian Minister of the Environment

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:57 | Landrew

The horrible part is climate change does not matter! Within two years we will lose Mexico's oil export and shortly after that larger oil reserves will show their loss of production and the pretence of cheap energy is over.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:25 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:26 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:38 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 19:28 | Anonymous
Sun, 01/03/2010 - 19:34 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:31 | Master Bates

Climate change encompasses warming and cooling.

If one part of the Earth is warming, then another part has to be cooling, as the temperature variances in different parts of the Earth causes higher pressure differentials. and thus higher variances.

People that don't believe in climate change should take a walk along the greenbelt in my neighborhood, where hundreds of hundred year old trees were uprooted in one particularly violent storm last summer.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:49 | Gordon Freeman

What are you talking about, with your trees?  Do you find your bizarre anecdote some sort of general proof...of anything?

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 21:26 | Master Bates

The microburst caused by extreme variances in air pressure caused an unprecedented event, the destruction of trees that have stood for hundreds of years or longer.

Widespread destruction came because of the variance of air pressure.  Even one or two degrees of difference is enough to create major and unprecedented changes in air pressure, and thus wind.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:54 | Argos

Sorry, but that's what you get for living in Fargo!  It's sunny and will be in the low 70's today in Phoenix.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 03:55 | straightershooter

Assuming Ah! Go! was right about the cause of the global warming, then the solution is burn, baby burn, lots of lots of coal, etc.,

Wait a moment. We have burned tons upon tons of coal, etc, yet the climate is getting colder, not warmer. It seems we need to work harder and burn more, not less.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 09:59 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:31 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:15 | sethstorm

Well, they are a product to the people for which advertise false jobs for legal compliance in immigration law.  H1-b abuse, anyone?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:44 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:33 | Master Bates

If you look at them regularly, you will notice the SAME jobs being posted over and over again by agencies that don't really have said jobs.

I will say that craigslist is a good place to get jobs though... as well as *some* RSS feeds on google.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:52 | sethstorm

Thus my previous post, #180568.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 10:59 | Landrew

Thanks for the tips.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 21:32 | Master Bates

No problem!  Might I suggest signing up for gmail, and then adding the RSS feed from indeed.com to your google page, which captures many available jobs from many sites?

That way, every time you go to google, it'll have all the jobs with your keywords within X miles from X zipcode as they are posted, right on your google page!

I have an interview next week from using this technique!

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:23 | john_connor

Great work TD.  We have to continue to hammer on this topic, as well as FNMA/FRE, AIG, Citigroup, GMAC, and any other "stealth" or backdoor bailout/stimulus.  Also, to wit, the following democratic senators face tight races in November: Harry Reid (NV), Chris Dodd (CT.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.).  There will also be tight races for the open seats held in Illinois and Delaware.  The point is not necessarily to remove democrats, but to end the supermajority and hopefully create a spending gridlock.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:30 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:33 | doggis

I am in agreement with the fundamentals - the math is the math, and the math falls squarely on the president's desk, and yet again another lie. Mr. Obama - be the honest man of change you claim to be, and tell me the truth. let's just start there for now and  "lets begin with the truth".

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:01 | TexasAggie

Would anyone in Washington DC know the truth if it was in front of their face or biting them in the balls?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:27 | msorense

Tell me you're not serious.  Obama is a part and parcel of the fraud.  What part of fraud don't you understand?  You and I - everyone reading this blog for that matter - are just economic serfs whose struggles and hardships serve to benefit the banking elite.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 19:49 | Seer

It's the System.  It's predicated on perpetual growth; on a finite planet this will eventually run into the wall.

Obama is just working for the upper-class, ruling party.  Like this has never happened before?; no, it's the very foundation of the System.  As long as we facilitate the notions that gods and masters are necessary we will continue to witness thse abuses.

This System can never be made better because its fundamentals won't allow it.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:42 | wang

OT - Well known economist Dean Baker (of the very left of center  Prospect.org) slams equally left of center Washington Post for auctioning off editorials / news / opinon stories - in this case to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and its surrogate the Fiscal Times.

http://www.politico.com/arena/perm/Dean_Baker_57C29311-BE06-4E89-8D71-FE...

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:51 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:03 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:07 | omi

I think it's just climategate model applied to unemployment benefits.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:22 | wang
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:36 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:37 | Rusty_Shackleford

You're right.

Everything is just great in our current unredeemable paper-ticket currency world.  Politicians and bureaucrats are going to get it all figured out just fine.

Whatever is needed can just be conjured into existence and everything will be OK.

You really can get something for nothing.

Wake the fuck up.

Nothing can fix this.
The sooner you accept this, the better.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 19:54 | Seer

You're aboslutely correct Rusty.  And here's the proof:

http://www.economist.com/media/pdf/this-time-is-different-reinhart-e.pdf

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:25 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:54 | Blue Fairy

benefit amount is set when initial claim is approved.  it doesn't fluctuate month to month.  If average amount is increases then higher paid workers are laid off

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 11:58 | lawton

Blue Fairy, but the wage to get the max amount of unemployment is pretty low - I think in Florida everyone who made about 30K or more gets the max amount of unrmployment compensation.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:35 | Master Bates

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:00 | John McCloy

These are the headlines which need to be all over the papers and mainstream media and not Charlie Sheen's recent coke binge beatdown. I am emailing these links to New York Times, WSJ and NY Post. Investigtive Journalism does not consist of "Has Linsday Lohan Turned Straight Once Again?"

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:42 | Nout Wellink

The NYT, WSJ and NYP will not publish anything from this link. They are censored by the Fed. Wall Street also controls the U.S. media.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:53 | Cursive

@Nout Wellnick

They are censored by the Fed.

Believing this more and more every day.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:40 | Rusty_Shackleford

Latest Jobless Numbers Point To Happy New Year
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:28 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 12:44 | Mark McGoldrick

The depth and breadth of reporting on this website is unbelievable.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:08 | Cognitive Dissonance

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:14 | Heroic Couplet

Kentucky. Democrat governor, two Republican Senators, Jim Bunning, Mitch McConnell. GE posted an ad for 90 positions, and after barely 3 days, received 10,000 job applications for \$13.00/hr jobs manufacturing washing machines.

http://www.whas11.com/news/local/64442992.html

Tell us what the 9,910 are still receiving today for food stamps, UI, EUC, and Medicare/Medicaid.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 11:17 | Landrew

Get real! You don't get Medicaid unless your down to your last 500 and a car in assets in IL.Medicare starts at age 65.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:22 | moneymutt

ZH/TD:

while my bet is also on underreporting of unemployed, there seemed to be three things people mentioned in previous comments that might otherwise explain this

1) the additional \$25 (yes, this does not alone explain this, but it adds) and raised min outlays in some states that increase low end payment by 50 percent, so in combo stim bill change could be adding several pts to precentage increase in amount

2) some one time retroactive payments for extended benefits, if those people on unextended benes not counted as unemployed (which then confirms your main thesis, that govt stats are hiding number of unemployed but just doing in a way we have been aware of for some time, not new trick)

3) Federal stim bill meant some UI benes went from 50 percent paid for by state/fed to having 100 percent being paid by Feds, so this went into effect this last year

Are any of these 3 things not correct, not significant? Is there anyway to quantify, say, how much the Fed contribution to state UI payments have increased since stim bill etc...

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 15:49 | Rick Ballard

You can scroll through the official press releases here:

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/opa/

Wrt your item 2, the third tier expanded numbers started flowing to the EUC line on December 5th, fourth tier on December 31 (see footnotes, midpage). California anticipated that some 110K people would be affected initially, rising to 164K through the month of December. The total increase in EUC count for December was 864,661. I would anticpate that we will see a like amount added in January and February based upon the numbers added in January and February of last year.

Those increases do not account for the huge difference in outlay discovered by TD. If I were forced to bet, I'd bet on language within one of the budget busters that allowed the Treasury to loan money or 'make good' broke state unemployment funds.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:35 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 13:59 | moneymutt

one additional thought, there are many more part-time UI benes being promoted/used ...MN has a program where an employed person that has hours reduced can get partial UI payments if your employer is not normally seasonal and your employer reduces everyones hours for a period of time, the idea is to enourage hour/wage reductions for everyone rather than straight lay-offs...if Fed is contributing to that now, more than ever, as reduced hours are so much more common now than before, so UI payments are being made to EMPLOYED people, people that obviously do not count as formal unemployed....this is probably a small issue, may not be significant, but could be a few pts worth of difference in number of unemployed vs UI payments diverging more now than past few years, that along with extra \$25/week, the increase amount of min payments etc.. could start to add up towards the total differences...

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 14:49 | lawton

moneymutt, I think you are right a combination of those things especially the large payment in December to many people whose benefits had ran out previously and were put on the extra 20 weeks approved by Congress.

I think the govt is doing other things like trying to influence the monthly surveys of unemployment to get more to respond they have been discouraged and arent actively looking. That could easily be done by changing the wording in the questions ever so slightly.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 15:13 | moneymutt

I have no doubt govt is trying to spin things for the better, just think its hard to factor in all the legit, transparent reasons for increase of UI costs per unemployed person given all the recent changes via Stim bill and the mess in this BLS data. Even with all these, bet they are hiding things.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:02 | Cognitive Dissonance

I have no remorse nor feel one iota of shame in always assuming the worse when it comes to my government. Particularly over the past 50 years, my government has done nothing to earn my trust and everything to deserve my suspicion. To think otherwise is to surrender to the slave mentality.

Yes master, thank you for my beating. May I have another beating?

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 18:47 | Rusty_Shackleford

Great post.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 21:41 | laughing_swordfish

"my government has done nothing to earn my trust and everything to deserve my suspicion" .....

Truer Words Never Spoken

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 11:23 | Landrew

Bravo! BRAVO!

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 15:17 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 16:10 | Anonymous
Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:55 | -273

Now THAT is proper journalism! Uncovers some facts, and asks some questions.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:36 | Lonewar

Tyler,

Is the Cobra offset listed anywhere else on that report? You stated that the divergence started in roughly April 2009, and isnt that when the Cobra Offset came into being? I have a couple of friends that are on it due to extremely severe medical conditions, and it is no small chunk of change.

That would also explain the drop in benefit amounts in October and November as those persons Cobra Benefits ran out about that time. And the re-ramp in December as one of the latest "Keep the masses quelled" laws re-extended those benefits.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 17:37 | jesus

This could be easily explained by either the mix of previous wages or the mix of states changing composition. I don't think you can easily jump to the "unemployment is way underreported" claim without knowing more about the actual composition of the unemployed getting payments in those months.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 20:24 | Seer

While we're all here talking numbers, it's good to understand what is happening in the real world...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100102/ap_on_re_us/us_patients_and_fortitude

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 20:26 | gookempucky

The fed gets all funds and does what they want=TGopher.

Earmarked funds

The Unemployment Trust Fund was established under the authority of Section 904 of the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, to receive, hold, invest, and disburse monies collected under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, as well as state unemployment taxes collected by the states and transferred to the Fund, and unemployment taxes collected by the Railroad Retirement Board and transferred to the Fund.

The Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, established under Part C of the Black Lung Benefits Revenue Act, provides compensation and medical benefits to coal miners who suffer disability due to pneumoconiosis, and compensation benefits to their dependent survivors for claims filed subsequent to June 30, 1973. Claims filed from the origination of the program until June 30, 1973 are paid by the general fund Special Benefits to Disabled Coal Miners.

The Gifts and Bequests Fund uses miscellaneous funds received by gift or bequest to support various activities of the Secretary of Labor.

The Panama Canal Commission Compensation Fund was established to pay workers compensation obligations of the Panama Canal Commission under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act from funding provided by the Commission.

H-1B Funds provide demonstration grants to regional and local entities to provide technical skills training to unemployed and incumbent workers. The funds are supported by fees paid by employers applying for foreign workers under the H-1B temporary alien labor certification program authorized by the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

YES blacklung is broke too.

ZH here is a start on the states CAFR

http://www.ides.state.il.us/general/trust.asp

Scroll down for the projections for recession spending for UE-3 versions

http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2008/RSI.htm

Missouri projections

Here is missouri now----

• Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Balance as of 12/23/09 - \$0.00
• Amount of Title XII Loans as of 12/23/09 - \$435,231,108.78
• Hammer is coming down

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 21:12 | gookempucky

For those who wonder wonder wonder WHO WHO wrote the book on love--DOL consolidated balance sheet---2009--by the way those numbers are in billions -not thousands

http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2009/PFS.pdf

Cannot put into words the thanks at ya ZH and er's

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 22:41 | GoldmanSux

To the editors of WSJ, ThomsonReuters, Bloomberg, et al.....

As I know you're reading this. Shame on you. This is what you should be investigating. It just requires an inquisitive mind. Shame on you. What a discrace. What a squandering of your shareholder's capital.

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 11:28 | Landrew

Bravo!

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 15:35 | Anonymous
Sun, 01/03/2010 - 21:29 | Master Bates

"It's the natural cycles of the Earth warming and cooling down." - Faux News Morons

Of course, I saw more violent storms than I've ever seen last summer, and tornadoes occuring in areas "too close to the mountains for tornadoes to form".

Wed, 01/27/2010 - 22:29 | Anonymous
Mon, 01/04/2010 - 11:46 | TumblingDice

It might be misrepresentation or it might be overcomplication of official numbers and their relationship, such as factors moneymutt mentioned above. Either way it is a lie.

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 16:24 | Alchemist

Where exactly are you getting the average payment? Does BLS publish this as a standalone statistic or are you backing this out from other numbers.. If it's the latter - be careful not to divide appels by oranges as I suspect what you might be doing

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 20:07 | Anonymous
Tue, 01/05/2010 - 03:50 | yellow submariner

Could extended unemployment benefits be an explanation for this puzzling finding?

Due to extended benefit payments more poeple get money so that the average payment per unemploymed person rises. Before 2009 more unemployed poeple got no benefit, so that the average payment per person was smaller than in 2009.