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October 07, 2010

A Cautionary Note

Lots of great comments on the unemployment claims thread, most explaining why I'm a Pollyanna in my upbeat take on the data. But one item keeps popping up: the Gallup poll that shows a 10.1% unemployment rate. Let me caution you in reading too much into that, because...

It's not seasonally adjusted.

Look at the first line:

"Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 10.1% in September..."

You can see from the data from the previous winter that unemployment last year went over 10%, then dropped during the milder months. Since the data doesn't go back to Sept. '09, you can't tell if we're better or worse off than last year. Without a seasonal adjustment or a reference from last year, the data is pretty much useless.


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posted by Geoff at 12:11 PM

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