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Thursday, March 21, 2013

February Unemployment Rate Didn't Really Decline

RealClearMarkets - February's Unemployment Rate Didn't Really Decline: "When the unemployment rates for the past two months are calculated out to two decimal places, the results are 7.92 for January and 7.74 for February. The monthly decline is 0.18, which is within the BLS error range. (The BLS uses a 90 percent confidence interval for monthly changes.) Dare it be uttered? It appears that the so-called drop in the February unemployment rate fails the BLS test of statistical significance. In the language of statisticians, the 0.18 recorded change cannot be said to be different from zero. Or more plainly, it can't be said that the unemployment rate declined last month. One might wonder why BLS has historically reported monthly changes in unemployment rate confidence intervals out to two digits, yet rounded the reported unemployment rate to one digit, and then called monthly changes of 0.2 point significant (saying the jobless rate went up or down) based on the figures rounded to one digit. As the result of this practice, as happened last month, some month-to-month changes that are not statistically significant become significant and possibly misleading."

Spaniards denounce EU's handling of financial crisis
Press TV
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Spain to protest against European Union leaders' handling of the financial crisis and the austerity measures imposed by the government. The Spaniards took part in a march organized by Indignados protest ...

Press TV

Why today's Cyprus bailout could be the start of the next financial crisis
Washington Post (blog)
For the past six months, the global financial markets have become increasingly complacent, convinced that the euro-zone crisis is, for practical purposes, over. Cyprus is the test of whether that is correct, or whether the complacency was instead ...

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