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Sunday, December 15, 2019
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: writer Susan Jones' lead article on November's unemployment numbers includes the usual pro-Trump rah-rah over jobs created and how "158,593,000 Americans were working in November, the 24th record of Trump's presidency," as well as devoting half of the article to rehashing employment numbers from 2018. It also includes this statement:

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,404,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 63.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate has never been higher than 67.3 percent, a level achieved in the early months of 2000. The Trump-era high was set last month at 63.3 percent. Economists say retiring baby boomers account for some of the decline since the turn of the century.

As we've documented, when President Obama was in office, CNS obsessed over the relatively low labor force participation rate -- because it could use the number to misleadingly attack the economy under Obama as sluggish -- and rarely explained to readers that the rate was driven down in part because of retiring baby boomers.

CNS also served up the usual sidebars on Hispanic employment and manufacturing jobs. Craig Bannister also did what appears to be a new monthly feature of featuring the response by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating that the numbers offer "little solace to the farmers and hard-working families who are struggling to stay above water with the costs of living rising and uncertainty surging" even though, in Bannister's pro-Trump view, "the number of Americans employed set a new record high for the sixth straight month and the unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EST

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