Gold and silver fell sharply after the peculiarly positive jobs number this afternoon. Gold fell 2.5% and silver 3.5% as traders took profits and shorted gold due to the much stronger than expected jobs number.
Given the spate of recent poor economic numbers in the U.S. and internationally, analysts are beginning to question the veracity of some of the U.S. government’s economic statistics including their jobs numbers today. Only this week, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton wrote a scathing attack on what he calls the government’s “extremely misleading” unemployment statistics. He thus publically declared what many have known for a long time: the U.S.’ government’s economic statistics, including unemployment, are grossly and intentionally misstated for the purpose of making the economy appear better than it really is. “There’s no other way to say this,” Clifton wrote on the Gallup website. “The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.” Zerohedge.com today also asked questions about the jobs report in an excellent blog entitled ‘Did The BLS Forget To Count Thousands Of Energy Job Losses?’ The ahead of the curve blog pointed out that according to corporations themselves, there were at least 18,000 terminations in the high-paying energy sector. According to the January payrolls report, the number of Oil and Gas Extraction workers declined to 199.5K in January from 201.4K in December, a virtually non-existant drop of 1,900 workers (and even the not seasonally adjusted, raw data shows a tiny drop of just 3.1K workers). So did the BLS choose to ignore for these thousands of jobs losses, or did it simply forget? Gold has flatlined prior to the ‘dodgy’ jobs number. In Asian trading, Singapore gold moved sideways and this trend continued in European trade. Gold is set to end the week down just over 2%. The range this morning has been pretty narrow, less than $7/oz, ahead of this afternoon’s non-farm payrolls data. Silver is also flat,while, platinum and palladium are marginally higher. Sentiment towards gold continues to improve and this is seen in the ETF gold demand numbers. Holdings at SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose to 24.86 million ounces on yesterday, the highest since September. More