The Labor Department caught in a not-so-crafty lie.

Directly from the web,  we have this boost about unemployment claims:
Posted on March 23, 2012 by Comerica Economics ... Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance fell by 5000 for the week ending March 17, to 348000. ... And we are seeing reports of gradually improving builder confidence ... The last time we were consistently below 350000 on initial claims was in the first quarter of 2008. . . .  

Turns out none of the above was true.

The "point of post' is to set the record straight and to report the truth about the "first time unemployment claims" of the past five weeks.

Feb 18  --  353,000 first time claims (an adjusted total)
Feb 25  --  354,000 first time claims (an adjusted total)
March 3 -- 365,000 first time claims (an adjusted total)
March 10 - 354,000 first time claims (an adjusted total)
March 17 - 364,000 first time claims (an adjusted total) Note: last week, this number was reported to 348,000.  Turns out it was 16,000 off.

and the most recent report issued today,  Thursday, March 29, for the week ending . . . .

March 24 - 359,000 first time claims (yet to be adjusted)

As you can see,  these numbers,  coming directly from the Department of
Labor confirm a very slow recovery.  Certainly,  the numbers are down from four years ago,  but there is no reason to believe that there is or was substance to the claims that the  weekly reports claims average was at a four year low.