New York Times Spins The Jobs Numbers

“Hey-unemployed people are still unemployed but…they’re leaving the house!”

Yes, jobs were added but unemployment stayed the same simply because more people came in off the ledge.


The economy added 227,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported Friday, and though the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, that was largely because nearly half a million people had joined, or resumed, the search for work in hopes their prospects had improved.

That entire paragraph hinges upon the word “hopes”. SO very Barack Obama.

Never has “less hopelessness” been made to sound so appealing. It just takes a quick Winnie the Pooh analogy or two to make everything better.

“We’ve seen a lot less Eeyore,” said Sherry Leginski, operations director at CareerPlace, a job placement center in the Chicago suburb of Barrington. “Maybe they’re turning a little bit more Tigger instead of Eeyore. They’re feeling better.”

Let us not forget that Tigger is a little…off.

As is the wont of the Times, it does manage to bury a little reality in the story to make sure it’s not a complete work of fiction. This time, it’s seven paragraphs in.

The big question was whether such improvement could be sustained, or even accelerate, as is necessary to significantly drive down the unemployment rate. Most projections call for slower economic growth in the first quarter of this year than the last quarter of 2011, and a second report on Friday further reduced expectations. The report, showing a higher-than-expected trade deficit, prompted firms like JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers to lower their growth forecasts for this quarter.


The spinning begins anew immediately, however, with more rah-rah and “maybe”.

The focus, though, remained on more encouraging signs. Public sector job losses, which have been steep, have slowed. Job gains for December and January were stronger than previously reported, the Labor Department said, accounting for 61,000 more jobs than the department estimated last month, and the February report could also have understated the improvement.

Only thing you really need to know?

Unemployment remained THE SAME.


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