You know when you finish paying bills and look at your bank account and are excited to see that you still have a lot of money left over.  Then, reality hits when you realize that you never paid your rent (or, mortgage for the grown-ups out there)?

Something similar happened last week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released weekly jobless claims that showed the claims as the lowest they’ve been since January 2008.  The gullible media’s collective high-five turned to confusion when the BLS admitted that some of the jobless claims from California didn’t make it into that week’s jobless report, or maybe it was the entire state.  Does anyone know?

According to business reporter Henry Blodget at Business Insider:

  • It is likely that some of the jobless claims in one large  state–California–were not included in the claims reported to the Department of  Labor this week.  This happens occasionally, the analyst says.  When a state’s jobless claims bureau is short-staffed, sometimes the state does  not process all of the claims that came in during the week in time to get them  to the DOL. The analyst believes that this is what happened this week.
  • California claims that were not processed in time to get into this  week’s jobless report will appear in future reports, most likely next week’s or  the following week’s. In other words, those reports might be modestly  higher than expected.
  • The analyst believes that the number of California claims that were  not processed might have totalled about 15,000-25,000. Thus, if one  were to “normalize” the overall not-seasonally-adjusted jobless claims number,  it would increase by about 15,000-25,000.

The California Labor Department denies these claims, but, honestly, this is squabbling over how bad of a situation we’re really in.  According to, California still had nearly 50,000 new jobless claims last week, and Colorado had nearly 3,000.  With over 37,000 people on continuing unemployment in Colorado, it’s tough to make the case that this recovery is going well.