Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Real Unemployment Rate pt. II: A Newspaper Actually Questions a White House Press Release Rather Than Gullibly Following Its Spin

Wow, I was actually able to find a mainstream newspaper that correctly interpreted the Labor Department's Friday canard about unemployment.
The San Francisco Chronicle writes that

The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in January, its lowest level in more than four years, as employers created 193,000 payroll jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday. The White House cheered the report as a sign of economic strength but critics said the rate is low because millions of Americans have dropped out of the labor force.

The author then spends a lot of the article explaining what the labor force participation rate is and how the employment data, when analyzed for more than two minutes, actually means the exact opposite of what the White House was trying to spin (i.e., the numbers actually suggest that far fewer people have jobs now than before Bush took office, no matter how many times the Bushies try to contradict reality and say the opposite).

The economist who explains this is dubbed "a liberal economist," which is misleading and irrelevant, but overall this article is so much better than any of the other coverage (I found one other paper that mentioned the participation rate, but it was buried deep in the article, and the overall spin followed the White House lead).

Now, if only this were the Associated Press or the Wall Street Journal rather than The San Francisco Chronicle.

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