The Employment Report: AP Misses Noting Worst June Since Before WWII

At the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web today, Jim Taranto noted that it took the Associated Press's Jeannine Aversa until the 15th paragraph of her expanded dispatch on today's Employment Situation Report to find something mildly positive to write.

Aversa, who has been one of the wire service's chief silver lining make-up artists during the Obama presidency's disastrous economic stewardship offered up this contention:

Even with higher pace of job cuts in June, the report indicates that the worst of the layoffs have passed.

The charts from Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics that follow show that the evidence for her claim is scant to non-existent.

First, let's look at the most recent seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted job growth/loss figures:


The red box on the left in the NOT seasonally adjusted data shows that the situation got decidedly worse in June. From February through May, the differences in year-over-year monthly job gains and losses on the ground before seasonal adjustment narrowed in by about 60% from -680,000 to -264,000. But June's -371,000 difference went the wrong way, causing the seasonally adjusted number (the result of smoothing results to account for seasonal variations) to move sharply upward.

How this "indicates that the worst of the layoffs have passed," as Aversa claims, is beyond me.

How bad was June? On the ground (not seasonally adjusted), the monthly job loss of 110,000 is the worst June performance listed in 71 years of monthly data BLS has available on the web (1939-2009). Though it is subject to revisions in the next two months, it doesn't seem likely that it will change by much in a positive direction when those revisions arrive.

Here, for the record, is the full collection of monthly changes since 1939 (it appears that monthly recordkeeping might not have begun until February 1939):


Again, how this "indicates that the worst of the layoffs have passed," as Aversa claims, is beyond me.

One of these days, someone at AP will dig into the data and produce a report on the monthly employment situation worthy of what is supposed to be "The Essential Global News Network." One of these days ....

Cross-posted at

Economy Unemployment Media Bias Debate Double Standards Business Coverage Recession Bias by Omission Wire Services/Media Companies Associated Press Jeannine Aversa