California Demands Business Insider Retract False Story On Jobless Claims Misreporting; Business Insider Refuses

Tyler Durden's picture

After yesterday Zero Hedge first reported the reason for the surprising plunge in the past week's initial claims, which as the BLS explained was due to "a state" (whose identity despite all tabloid speculation to the contrary is still unknown) not reporting "some" figures, assorted blogs picked up on what has since been confirmed to be an incorrect report by Business Insider's Henry Blodget claiming that "Well, we're glad to say that we've finally gotten to the bottom of what happened" and that the state in question is none other than California (supposedly as opposed to Illinois to shut up those wacky conspiracy theorists). Turns out the site known best for its slideshow presentations (which will soon double down as advertisements) may have once again fibbed just a little, following an official demand by none other than California state Employment Development Department direct, Pam Harris, that BI retract its article. To wit: "Reports that California failed to fully report data to the U.S. Department of Labor, as required, are incorrect and irresponsible... It’s unfortunate this ‘reporter’ and others who repeated the article’s erroneous statements chose to speculate rather than report, failing to confirm this information with EDD." Sure enough, the 'reporter' in question replied, and it appears that Business Insider is better informed than California when it comes to matters such as these, and has refused to retract.

From California:

SACRAMENTO – California Employment Development Department Director Pam Harris today issued the following statement in response to an un-sourced and unsubstantiated media report from Business Insider that erroneously asserts the state failed to fully and properly report unemployment insurance weekly claims data – also known as the jobless claims report – to the U.S. Department of Labor.


“Reports that California failed to fully report data to the U.S. Department of Labor, as required, are incorrect and irresponsible. The California Employment Development Department, which administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in the state, has reported all UI claims data and submitted the data on time.


The original article also erroneously claims that there is a backlog of UI claims in California. California continues to file UI claims on a timely basis. Data on UI claim activity is required to be reported to the Labor Department every week and California has fully complied with the weekly reporting deadlines.


It’s unfortunate this ‘reporter’ and others who repeated the article’s erroneous statements chose to speculate rather than report, failing to confirm this information with EDD. We demand an immediate retraction and encourage writers to verify these ‘stories’ before publishing them.”

Cue Business Insider's response:

In response to our story, California's Employment Development Director issued a statement saying the state "has reported all UI claims data and submitted the date on time." A spokesperson for the department also offered an alternative explanation for the drop in California's unemployment claims: "Our weather has been unusually warm which has had some typical seasonal patterns in employment delayed."


The California spokesperson also demanded a "retraction" of what the Labor Department told us. We accurately reported what the Labor Department told us, so we stand by our story.  In a follow-up exchange, we asked the spokesperson how California could be sure it had submitted all of its claims on time. The spokesperson did not respond to the question. She simply reiterated that the Labor Department analyst we spoke to was "wrong."

Leave it up to "reporters" to determine what data is right and wrong, even after being chastised by those who actually do know and are not pressured by Series ZZ investors for page views.

Ironically this brings up two amusing side effects. One is that the state which actually is exposed as being responsible for this misreporting will be seen as politically in bed with the administration. Which would then beg the question: why? Is said state so desperate for a Federal bail out that it would do anything to perpetuate the current administration, even if it means being responsible for misreported critical economic data. And heaven forbid the state is found to be Illinois...

Or, worse, the BLS did get California claims data, and simply chose to ignore it, which in turn will make allegations that the BLS is purposefully manipulating jobs data which it claims it does not have yet turns out it has, even louder, and most likely result with precisely what Darrell Issa is contemplating: a hearing on the accuracy and validity of economic data in a pre-election context, which if nothing else, will confirm that the US economic reporting apparatus is just as broken as that of other banana republics of which everyone enjoys making fun day in and day out, such as China, yet which are merely doing just what the US has been doing for years.

Because remember: grand conspiracies never exist. Libor-gate (as a very recent example) aside of course.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
GetZeeGold's picture



California dreaming......on such a winter day. I fell down on my knees...and began to pray.


economics9698's picture

Keep the peasants distracted with the freak show while the Yids at the Fed continue the plundering and pillaging. 

Paybacks a bitch.

Careless Whisper's picture

I'll take Choice B. The BLS got the Cali data and chose to ignore it.

SeattleBruce's picture

Ack - I don't like this gameshow.  Is there a door number 3?

AldousHuxley's picture

california says millions employeed not counted in official statistics as they are illegal aliens slaving away undocumented in farms.


white southern plantation owning republicans jealous of california because slavery is legal there.

kaiserhoff's picture

I believe Cali.  All that ass-to-mouth porn must be employing plenty of Emperor Moonbeam's serfs.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Business Insider is as close to a proxy arm of communications for Team Obama/Biden 2012 as just about any "publication" out there, which is just as terrible a crime as being a proxy arm of communication for Team Romney/Ryan (in our democratic smorgasbord where voters are free to pick the amongst two products, having the same basic ingredients, but wearing different labels).

It lacks any credibility amongst the VSPs (very serious people) such as Paul Krugman (former Enron Advisor who predicted that the internet's cumulative political, social and economic impact would ultimately be no greater than that of the fax machine--Paul Krugman's predictions from 1998), however, even though in an ironic twist, BI's most prolific "wordsmith" is none other than Joe 'I Heart Krugman' Weisenthal, who parrots every possible talking point of Krugman, and probably has a literal shrine to Krugman (complete with photos, lit candles, incense & flowers) in his apartment that he genuflects towards thrice daily.

SeverinSlade's picture

I deal with EDD regularly.  This doesn't surprise me ONE.FUCKING.BIT.

EDD regularly levies people's accounts/property for taxes that were left "unpaid" even though said taxpayer didn't even reside in the fucking State or do any business activity during the tax period in question.

Once again, EDD being accused of withholding sensitive economic information or lying about it doesn't surprise me at all.

Pool Shark's picture



"I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that EDD would be accused of such misfeasance. Round up the usual suspects..."


e-man's picture

I've had a running theory that if Obama gets re-elected, CA and IL (and whoever else needs it) get a bailout check.  If Romney gets elected, CA & IL get a big FU.  This development seems to support that but it will be interesting to watch what happens.  I imagine a Romney win would cause Sacramento to empty out like a sinking ship.

dugorama's picture

Ahhh, but where would they go?  The demand for second tier office workers from Sacremento can't be too high.  It's not exactly a proud achievement to have been part of that team.  

Also: letting state gov't workers go might help with the budget a little, but it doesn't help the unemployment numbers.  And it's a bitch to do.

mudduck's picture

GZGold, not to be to picky but I believe the California Dreamin line is "and I pretend to pray".

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

I'm going to ask the Russians for US economic data, they will probably tell the truth. Who needs nuclear weapons.

Freddie's picture

The song is hilarious in today's libturd context.  The old hippies were singing about going into a church and praying.  It would never get on the radio today. 

CA is so f***ed-d.  They need more high speed rail.  Commie libs.

GMadScientist's picture

"Journalism", bitchez.

lizzy36's picture


Blodget write an UNTRUTH in a "research" post. UNPOSSIBLE (unless history is a guide in which case............).

eigenvalue's picture

I stopped reading Business Insider two years ago.  There are too many half-educated hacks like Joe Weasel on Business Insider. 

paulbain's picture




EigenValue wrote:

I stopped reading Business Insider two years ago.  There are too many half-educated hacks like Joe Weasel on Business Insider.

Bingo, you nailed it! Joe "Weasel" Wiensenthal's articles on precious metals, especially silver, are a freaking joke.

OTOH, IIRC, I discovered ZH via, believe it or not.

-- Paul D. Bain




Yen Cross's picture

Because we all know Alaska and Texas have population density enough to substancially skew the employment numbers, that had  not been questioned, would have been good for an extra 50 DOW points.

fonzannoon's picture

Business Insider likes to tell me that the debt to gdp ratio has dropped substantially. They suck.

youngman's picture

I for one think its very strange about the secrecy....what is so secret on who did not report????  And why didn´t they just say so right in the report out front as a headline...wierd

Joe Davola's picture

It almost seems like we're not citizens of the same country...

GeezerGeek's picture

What does it matter if it was California or some other dysfunctional state that didn't report? How long have the numbers been underreported? After all, when was the last time you heard of all 57 states having reported their unemployment claims?

chubbar's picture

The implication on why it matters (unless I'm missing the sarc tag) is because California is a liberal left state, as I understand it. When that data was unreported it skewed the jobless claims way down, giving the impression that the economy was improving right before a key presidential debate. Thus this whole issue comes down to whether the state of California or the BLS is trying to intentionally mislead the american public and assist President Obama in getting re-elected.

I do agree with your main point that implies the whole methodology of the BLS is suspect since anyone who lives in the U.S. knows the unemployment is closer to 20% than it is to 8%.

SeattleBruce's picture

Certainly un and underemployment is 20%+ and jobs with benefits have gone POOF...

dugorama's picture

the top half of CA is liberal and left leaning more or less.  The bottom half, not so much - do remember who gave us Nixon and Reagan.  That's one reason why the state is so dysfunctional... you could call it a microcosm of the US political landscape except that it's too big to be micro. 

RSloane's picture

California is miffed! This means war.....death by tossed Beanie Babies at twenty paces.

new game's picture

more fucking distractions...

oromny for big rehypothicated shit swirrling in a toilet bowl called ussa.

Dr. Engali's picture

Any entity that is associated with likes of Henry Blodget can't be taken seriously. That man is a joke. 

El's picture

Are we talking about permanently banned securities analyst Henry Blodget? Man, that guy never gives up on his own bs, no matter what evidence to the contrary he is presented with. I think he is still convinced the world is flat. 

midtowng's picture

Even if the reporter is right, this still doesn't tell us what numbers are missing.

Joe Davola's picture

I love it when a plan comes together!

SeattleBruce's picture

I read it was 30,000 new claims, and would have put the overall number at 368,000, in line with 370,000 estimates, vs. 338,000 and 'the lowest since 2008' BS headline numbers they were hoping to generate.  Wow, bald faced, brazen lying going on...doesn't surprise us too much, does it?

LMAOLORI's picture



Market Watch also cited California the numbers missing are unemployment claims

“As a result, there is an accumulation of claims that are likely submitted over a period of several weeks but not processed until the turn of the quarter. Apparently, the state in question (and it pretty much has to be California to account for anything close to 30,000) forgot to include that stockpile of unprocessed claims in their tally for this week (which is the first week of a new calendar quarter).

and Forbes put it this way


Indeed, it seems this week’s data was skewed by a large state failing to report quarterly figures. “Some are saying it was California, though we cannot confirm that,” says FTN Financial economist Chris Low. “As a result, the reported plunge in claims is suspect.


kito's picture

its all BLShit anyway......................none of this matters ready to return to the matrix:

Freddie's picture

The employment numbers and data from CalifPorn-ia are as bad as the crap Hollywood spews out.  F Hollywood and F TV.

WatchingIgnorance's picture

Gotta make a new lie to cover the last lie which covered up the lie before and the lie before that and the lie before that . . . well, you get the message.

The disconnect from reality will continue until riots commence. Thank god we have no inflation!

PUD's picture

Why do we have to have a weather/climate report with every jobs stat?

PaperBear's picture

I am laughing my head off right now.

hangemhigh77's picture

WHAT!! California has PLENTY of jobs!!  There are TONS of fast food places where people can get part time crappy low paying shit jobs!!!  

Agent P's picture

Illinois should just step up and take the blame already.  It's not like we do anything on time in this state anyway (see Judy Baar Topinka's billpay account).  And if the data was withheld intentionally, what's it going to do...damage our pristine reputation?  Please.

fijisailor's picture

So much election year propaganda when the difference between the 2 parties is nil.  Truly boring.  You're supposed to get excited about this and vote for one of the 2 banker stooges.

SeattleBruce's picture

Right.  And yet there are two cabals that still do want to vie for power to do the bidding of their financial masters.  When Ron Paul decided to pick one of the dead carcasses (Ds or Rs) to try to co-opt for his revolution (after his time in the L party), it was the R party...I would say that Rs still have many libertarians, those leaning libertarian, conservatives that haven't been convinced to leave the R party, and that those folks constitute a number of millions who are also more inclined toward the Austrian school and libertarian economics.  The Ds have no such wing.  But there are large numbers of conservatives and libertarians in the not committed to either party middle.  Ron Paul has certainly proven that the Republican party cannot be reborn. 

Of course, the Democrats are also a totally captured, ridiculous dead carcass.  We have need of a great new sound money Party to rise out of the ashes of both dead parties.

Cursive's picture

Amerika is home to the land of Pollyanna's and the gullible.  Warning:  Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.

kito's picture

half of what you see..........


not if youre watching cnbc..............

yrbmegr's picture

Including on this site, presumably.

Yen Cross's picture

Personally, I could give two shits less which state it is/was. The fact that BLS didn't issue a bullet stating the discrepancy is what pisses me off. It just exposes even more so, how our kleptocratic leadership functions. Like the 3 monkeys.

 Hear no evil, See no evil, Do no evil.

Agent P's picture

The third one is "speak no evil"...doing evil is fair game.

chubbar's picture

Good point. Which leads me to believe that BLS is at least 50% responsible for the fuck up and probably 100%. Pretty clear they could have mentioned the number was based on incomplete data. Regardless, I think all they accomplished was drawing both their impartiality and methodology into question in the eyes of the public (those paying attention and not already aware of the way they skew data).