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Sunday, January 10, 2016
CNS' Unemployment Numbers Get A Little Less Distorted

It seems someone at is reading us after all.

Last month, we debunked CNS' obsession with twisting unemployment figures by playing up the labor force participation rate is dishonest (not to mention a meaningless measure of unemployment) because the majority of people who aren't working are doing it by choice -- they're retired or in school.

Sure enough, CNS' main story on the December unemployment figures, by Susan Jones, is all about the labor force participation rate. But wait -- what's this buried in the sixth paragraph of thte article? Why, it's the first-ever breakdown of the labor force participation rate:

Ahead of this month's unemployment numbers, the Labor Department released an article examining why people who are not in the labor force are not working.

It found that in 2014, 87.4 million people 16 years and older neither worked nor looked for work at any time during that year.

Of this group, 38.5 million people reported retirement as the main reason for not working. About 16.3 million people were ill or had a disability, and 16.0 million were attending school. Another 13.5 million people cited home responsibilities as the main reason for not working in 2014, and 3.1 million individuals gave “other reasons.”  

The self-reported reasons that people gave for not being in the labor force varied by age and gender, and the analysis includes charts comparing the reasons given by various worker groups in both 2004 and 2014.

Jones won't mention that this explanation effectively blow up CNS' obsession with the labor force participation rate -- since it demonstrates that the vast majority of them are out of the labor market by choice -- so we will.

CNS finally shooting down its own misinformation on unemployment numbers doesn't mean the misinformation has stopped, however. CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeats his fixation on racial unemployment with an article about how "unemployment rate for blacks was also nearly double that of whites." As before, Chapman fails to mention that black unemployment has always been double that for whites, even under Republican administrations.

And Jones' article waited until the third paragraph -- following two paragraphs of ranting about the labor force participation rate -- to mention the good news: that 292,000 jobs were created in December. As we've said, good news for America is bad news for CNS.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2016 9:45 PM EST

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