There's No Bias or Hoping for Bad News in This AP Piece, Is There?

Good news on initial jobs claims gets discounted, sliced, and diced in this unattributed article by the Associated Press:
The number of laid off workers filing claims for unemployment plunged last week by the largest amount in eight months, but it might have been a statistical fluke.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 302,000 Americans filed for benefits last week, down by 35,000 from the previous week. Analysts had been expecting a much smaller decline of around 6,000.

..... Analysts cautioned against reading too much into last week's improvement, noting that it occurred during a holiday-shortened week when residents of many states would have had one less day to file their applications for benefits.

Many analysts are forecasting that the jobless claims numbers will begin rising on a sustained basis in coming months, signaling a slowing economy. In the most dramatic indication of that slowdown so far, the government reported last Friday that businesses created just 75,000 new jobs in May, far below the 170,000 job gain that analysts had been expecting.

The unemployment rate, which is based on a survey of households rather than business payroll analysis, fell to a five-year low of 4.6 percent last month. But economists believe that rate will start rising as well in the months ahead, as the economy slows.

I don't have a big problem with the "fluke" explanation because of the shorter week (though you would think the "analysts" also knew it was a holiday week), but the bald predictions of higher jobless claims and a higher unemployment rate (without attributed quotes) in a "slowing economy" in what is supposed to be a straight-news piece is pretty blatant, even by AP's alleged standards.

Yours truly will be coming back to this gem from time to time in the coming months.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.