Thursday, April 02, 2009

HOW TO SPIN THE NEWS: "Rise in Spanish jobless total 'slows in March'," says an AFP headline. So things are going better, right? Well, not if you keep reading:
The number of unemployed in Spain registered the weakest gain in six months in March compared to February, but the overall jobless total rose to 3.6 million, the highest since 1996, the labour ministry said Thursday.

By the end of March there were 3,605,402 unemployed workers in Spain, up 3.5 percent or 123,543 from the previous month and the highest number since 1996 when the current method of calculation was introduced, the ministry said in a statement.
So, if the March jobless rate is lower than February but the yr/yr data is rising, it means that the March 09 figure is way higher than March 08, which is what should have been compared. March is usually a good month on the employment front in Spain, so losing 125K jobs is terrible. And it doesn't mean that joblessness is slowing, but exactly the opposite.