The unemployment rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted 9.8% in November and only 39,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were added during the month, according to the Employment Situation Report released yesterday by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Although she at least recognized the report's negativity, Lucia Mutikani at Reuters seemed bent on downplaying its impact, even finding an "expert" who characterized the BLS's work as an "outlier" in her Friday evening write-up. Nobody's claiming the folks at BLS are perfect, but I cannot recall a time when an establishment press wire service reporter has questioned the Employment Situation Report's underlying validity. Despite its supposed lack of credibility, Ms. Mutikani still used the information provided as an excuse to insert a point about how it should cause Fed chief Ben Bernanke to continue the "money from nothing" enterprise euphemistically referred to as "quantitative easing."
Of special note was Ms. Mutikani's bizarre contention that the seasonal adjustment calculations might be flawed. Unfortunately for her, comparisons of actual results on the ground (i.e., the not seasonally adjusted numbers) to the seasonally adjusted numbers that resulted were consistent with November 2004, the last comparable year. This has not always been the case in the volatile economy of the past 2-1/2 years.
Here are the first eight paragraphs from Ms. Mutikani's morose musings (bolds and number tags are mine):
U.S. employment barely grew in November and the jobless rate unexpectedly hit a seven-month high, hardening views the Federal Reserve would stick to its $600 billion plan to shore up the anemic recovery. 
Nonfarm payrolls rose 39,000, with private hiring gaining only 50,000, just a third of what economists had expected, a Labor Department report showed on Friday. The unemployment rate jumped to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent in October.
The weak report was a surprise given the relative strength of some other recent economic signals,  including robust retail sales. Economists had expected 140,000 new jobs and a steady unemployment rate.
While the data raised a warning flag, many analysts cautioned against reading too much into it.
"The report comes as an unwelcome bucket of cold water," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. "We're reluctant to take it at face value and suspect that it is an outlier -- on the downside -- but it does underline that the recovery remains a gradual one." 
Stock market investors also appeared to be in disagreement with the weak hiring number, and U.S. shares closed marginally higher. Prices for long-dated U.S. government debt fell while the dollar dropped across the board. 
A separate report from the Institute for Supply Management showed service sector activity rose in November , with a gauge of hiring reaching its highest level since October 2007 , before the economy tumbled into recession.
Payrolls for September and October were revised to show 38,000 more jobs were gained in those months than previously estimated, taking some sting out of the report.  Some economists said November's data was likely distorted by the way it was adjusted for seasonal fluctuations  and said they expected a snap back in December.
Ms. Mutikani's attempted dress-up of yesterday's pig of an employment report is an epic fail, but quite illustrative of the lengths to which establishment media reporters will go to tell us we're not really seeing what we really are seeing.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.