Friday, December 2, 2011

Unemployment news

It was interesting today to note how major news organizations headlined the unemployment news:
 Employment growth picked up speed in November, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Jobless Rate Falls: 120,000 New Jobs Added

Jobless rate plummets - 
The unemployment rate fell to 8.6% after employers added 120,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department reports. The jobless rate in October had been 9%. 
Unemployment rate falls to lowest since March 2009

Jobless rate falls to 8.6 Percent  HIDING BAD?  315,000 American Quit Job hunt
Unemployment rate drops to 8.6%
Jobless rate at lowest level since March 2009, as employers added 120K jobs
in November - but 315K gave up looking for work

Jobless rate falls to 8.6 percent as hiring picks up
WASHINGTON - Employment growth picked up speed in November and the jobless  rate dropped to a 2-1/2 year low of 8.6 percent, further evidence the economic recovery was gaining momentum.

All of the stories contain basically the same information from the Labor Department.  But while Fox and CBS highlight the downside, 
the Reuters headline seems almost enthusiastic.   Yet in their article is this paragraph:  “Analysts were unperturbed [really? all of them?] by the exit by 315,000 people from the labor force last month, noting that more people had piled in over the last three months. Excluding this drop, the unemployment rate would have edged down to just 8.9 percent.” The article also notes: “The retail sector accounted for more than a third all new private sector jobs in November as shops geared up for a busy holiday season.”  So for all practical purposes, a statistically insignificant decline of one-tenth of a percent due in large measure to hiring for the holiday season is headlined as “further evidence the economic recovery was gaining momentum”.  Ironically, the Fox News story is also Reuters story, but what a difference a headline makes.

Also classic is the Reuters sub-headline of the closing section of the article on Fox News:  “PRIVATE SECTOR SHOULDERS BURDEN.”  What kind of country do we live in where the private sector is burdened with the responsibility of employing its citizens?

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