Saturday, April 07, 2007

News gets worse: Jobless Rate Falls

And the economic news keeps getting worse for those with a political ax to grind. The AP reports
The mostly positive snapshot of the nation's employment climate, released by the Labor Department on Friday, showed that companies ramped up hiring and paid workers more. That's good news for employees and jobseekers, and bodes well for the national economy, too, which is suffering a sluggish spell and a painful housing slump.

"For most people, the job market is still hitting on a lot of cylinders, especially for people who are willing to upgrade their skills. It is not leaving a large number of people stranded," said John Challenger, chief of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment research firm. "But there are pockets where people are having a difficult time," he said.

But a rapid pickup -- if prolonged and not blunted by other economic forces -- can raise fears about inflation.

Spiraling inflation would whittle away any wage gains, hurting workers' wallets. The Federal Reserve's biggest concern is that inflation could flare up.

Pay careful to the language here: "mostly", "suffering a sluggish spell and a painful housing slump", "difficult time", "fears", "spiraling inflation","hurting workers' wallets". I guess it is a good sign that the good economic news is finally being reported, but it is always tempered by the constant "yeah but's". How good does it have to get before the press labels drops the disclaimers and reports it straight?

I don't do politics here at VAT, but one cannot help but notice the apparent bias for the wonderful economic performance under the current President's versus the coverage received under his predecessor. I guess we will have to wait until the party of the President matches the party of the press before we get fair and objective economic (and other) reporting.

Note a small error in the report:
The unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped to 5.1 percent, a three-month low, while the rate for blacks climbed to 8.3 percent, a three-month high. The rate for women held steady at 3.8 percent. The rate for men declined to 4 percent.
Of course, it is mathematically impossible for women to have 3.8% employment, men 4% and the overall rate to be 4.4%. A look at the numbers issued by BLS indicate that the reported figures for men and women is for those over 20. Do I have to be a fact checker too?


At Monday, April 16, 2007 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous John Schan said...

How good does it have to get before the press labels drops the disclaimers and reports it straight?

Jim, you should know already what it will take before the press drops the disclaimers: a Democrat elected to the White House. What it will take to get them to report it straight has yet to be determined. (Can a biased press report anything straight? What a conundrum!)


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