Initial Claims Plunge As Department Of Labor "Estimates" Claims For Illinois, Connecticut; Blizzard "Blamed"
The last time the US government showed its predictive data crunching euphoria, was the week of January 24 when the fine folks at the Department of Labor "estimated" the initial claims for the most populat US state - California, resulting in the lowest initial claims print since January 2008, or 335K (followed promptly by a claims surge the week after). Today, we just got an initial claims print of 341K, far below expectations of a 360K number, and even more below last week's upward (of course) revised number of 368K. On the surface- great. Until one reads the actual release: "Jobless claims for Connecticut and Illinois were estimated by the Labor Department, a spokesman said as the figures were being released." Because apparently, the "blizzard upset the application process." And there you have it. The government no longer even pretends to collect data when pulling numbers out of thin air and seasonally adjusting it. Now it literally makes up numbers, and then seasonally adjusts it. Since the number is now nothing but noise, there is no point to even comment on it. In the meantime, the algos are more than happy to react to even absolutely meaningless "data" - just as expected.