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Wednesday, May 9, 2018
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

As it did last month,'s coverage of April's job numbers downplays the number of new jobs created -- a sign it doesn't consider that number impressive enough -- in favor of cherry-picked stats that make President Trump look better.

Instead, Susan Jones' main story touts how "Not since May 2001, 17 years ago, has the number of unemployed Americans been this low." It's not until the ninth paragraph that Jones mentions that there has been no real change in the labor force participation rate under Trump -- a number it heavily emphasized when Barack Obama was president when it was similarly stagnant. The jobs-created number didn't get mentioned until the 10th paragraph.

This story joined by the usual Trump-era sidebars by Terry Jeffrey on government employment and manufacturing jobs. The latter attacks Obama for "a one-month decline of 289,000" in manufacturing jobs the month he took office but doesn't mention that the economy was in the midst of cratering into a major recession at the time; Jeffrey also credits Trump for 304,000 manufacturing jobs since he took office but not the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs created under Obama since the end of the recession -- a fact illustrated by the chart accompanying his article.

An article by Michael W. Chapman touts how "The national unemployment rate for blacks in April 2018 was 6.6%, the lowest it has been since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started compiling such data in 1972, some 46 years ago," but he fails to mention that the rate decline is merely the continuation of a trend begun under Obama.

Tellingly, Jones waited three days to do an article offering a closer look at the labor force participation rate and how it hasn't really changed under Trump -- something she would never have waited to do under Trump. The article's headline is quick to hype that the stagnant participation rate is driven largely by baby boomers retiring -- also a fact CNS was reluctant to admit during the Obmaa years.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT

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