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Thursday, December 14, 2017
MRC Demands Coverage of Unemployment Numbers It Used To Suggest Were Faked
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aly Nielsen complains in a Dec. 5 post:

The national unemployment rate is already at a low 4.1 percent rate, but some economists think it could go even lower in the next two years. However, many liberal news outlets ignored the forecast.

Goldman Sachs economists issued a forecast in November that the U.S. unemployment rate could fall to as little as 3.5 percent by late 2019. The three broadcast networks and several major newspapers ignored their views.

Those economists “lowered their unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and to 3.5 percent by end-2019,” on Nov. 17, according to Reuters. “Our projections would imply an evolution over the current cycle from the weakest labor market in postwar U.S. history to one of the tightest,” Goldman Sachs’ economists said.

Between Nov. 17 and Dec. 1, none of ABC, CBS or NBC morning or evening news shows reported the unemployment forecast from the well known financial firm. In print,The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today also chose not to cover the bullish prediction.

Perhaps because economic predictions that go more than a year out are pure speculation. Perhaps, also, because the MRC was disparaging this same low unemployment number under President Obama.

We documented how MRC blogger Tom Blumer suggested in a March NewsBusters post that unemployment numbers under Obama were "phony," claiming that "there was reason to believe that BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] may have changed its criteria for whether a person was in the labor force and began excluding more people who were legitimately looking for work" though citing no evidence to support that assertion beyond lame attempts to smear the then-BLS director as a partisan because she once co-wrote an op-ed arguing to end some exemptions to federal regulations.

If the unemployment number was so trustworthy under Obama, how can the it be suddenly trustworthy now under Trump, especailly when no evidence has been produced to support the claim that the numbers were ever skewed under Obama? And why should the Goldman Sachs prediction be taken at face value when the Trump administration has hired numerous Goldman Sachs executives and, arguably, as a vested interest in putting forward rosy predictions?

Perhaps Nielsen could answer these questions before demanding that the media report said rosy predictions about a number the MRC used to think was bogus.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EST

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