June 3 Politico: May Jobs Numbers 'Expected to Show We’ve Reached 20 Percent Unemployment'

June 6th, 2020 5:27 PM


Maybe it is better not to make a prediction just a couple of days before you could be proved horribly wrong. Such was the case with Politico reporters Victoria Guida and Renuka Rayasam when on June 3 they made their twenty percent unemployment prediction which, of course, was contradicted on June 5 by the May jobs report showing that unemployment, contrary to what most economists expected, had actually dropped to 13.3 percent. 

To the credit of Guida, after the May jobs report numbers came out she publicly countered on Twitter claims, including from Paul Krugman, that the Bureau of Labor Statistics could have cooked the numbers. 

Their gloomy economic prediction was made in "How bad will the jobs number be?"

20 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT? — As protests continue throughout the country over police brutality toward black Americans, it’s worth remembering that we’re still in the middle of a severe recession. The monthly jobs numbers for May, which will be released Friday, are expected to show we’ve reached 20 percent unemployment, and that’s falling particularly hard on minorities. Fewer than half of black adults are now employed, according to Labor Department data.

Brace yourself for more jobless claims in the weekly report Thursday morning. Economists are expecting the federal government to announce that around 1.8 million new people filed for unemployment insurance last week. That’s part of a steady improvement since late March, when weekly claims soared as high as 6.8 million. But it’s still a distressingly high number — in February, the numbers were in the 200,000s. Before the pandemic, the weekly record was under 700,000, in 1982.

Fortunately Guida displayed true professionalism by not going along with the BLS numbers deniers by standing up for its validity despite it showing her prediction was way off. An example of those questioning the BLS stats was the New York Times economist Paul Krugman whom Guida addressed in a tweet:

Guida better hope that Politico is not populated by Red Guards types such as we now have seen inhabiting the New York Times newsroom who could demand that she not question the BLS stat deniers such as Krugman.