Unemployment Rate Jumps to 10.2%; AP Reports 'Economy Is Rebounding'

The October unemployment rate has just been released and it has jumped to  double digits at 10.2%, the worst rate since 1983. Just a little over half a point higher would make this the worst recession since the Great Depression. So how is the Associated Press reporting the growing unemployment numbers? "The economy is rebounding." I kid you not.

This AP report by Christopher S. Rugaber was published earlier this morning before the official unemployment rate was released.  Notice how AP tries to cushion the blow by speculating that it would probably just rise to 9.9% for October:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is rebounding from its deepest slump since the 1930s, but it probably won't seem that way when the government releases its monthly employment report on Friday.

Employers aren't expected to start adding jobs for several more months. Many are skeptical about the strength and sustainability of the recovery,

The nation's economy probably lost a net total of 175,000 jobs in October, pushing the unemployment rate to 9.9 percent, according to a survey of Wall Street economists by Thomson Reuters. The Labor Department report is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST.

Most economists think the rate will eventually surpass 10 percent, a level last seen in June 1983.

The AP couldn't wait a few hours before filing this embarrassing egg-on-the face unemployment report? Were they that anxious to promote fictitious happy news on the economic front? Most economists think the rate will "eventually" surpass 10 percent? "Eventually" lasted only a few hours after the report was filed with the immediate jump to 10.2 percent, not sometime in the vague future.

AP continues to laughably divorce itself from reality in the rest of the report:

On Wall Street, a better-than-expected jobless claims report and an upbeat forecast from Cisco Systems Inc. buoyed investors Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average added nearly 204 points to 10,005.96, and broader indexes also gained.

...Many companies also are squeezing more production from their existing work forces. Productivity, the amount of output per hour worked, jumped 9.5 percent in the third quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday.

That's the sharpest increase in six years and followed a 6.6 percent rise in the second quarter. The increases enable companies to produce more without hiring extra workers.

Still, many economists saw a bright side: companies can only drive their existing workers so far. Eventually, they will have to hire more people as the economy improves.

...The central bank said economic activity has "continued to pick up," but Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues warned that rising joblessness and tight credit could restrain the rebound in the months ahead.

There actually is one green shoot in the economy. The employment prospects at the Associated Press for Baghdad Bob have gotten much brighter.  

Update: The original "happy face" AP unemployment rate report link at Yahoo! Finance has been replaced with this report reflecting the latest stats. You can run, AP, but you can't hide. Your original embarrassing report still exists on the Web.

Unemployment Associated Press

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