CNSNews.com's efforts to spin November's unemployment numbers began early, with a Dec. 1 article by Melanie Arter that "More than half of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April due to COVID-19 shutdowns have been regained, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday." Arter uncritically repeated Powell's claims that the Federal Reserve Board took "forceful actions to provide relief and stability, to ensure that the recovery will be as strong as possible, and to limit lasting damage to the economy."
When the numbers for November came out a few days later and looked, well, not very good for CNS' pro-Trump purposes, Susan Jones started off with an unusually downbeat main story:
As COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise in this country, the nation's labor force awaits mass vaccination. In the meantime, some states are now ordering another round of business shutdowns, a burden that falls heavily on bars, restaurants and other small businesses that have had to lay off workers.
The monthly jobs report issued today shows a less robust improvement than we've seen in recent months.
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics says the economy added 245,000 jobs in November, the smallest number since April.
And after six straight months of post-pandemic employment gains, the number of employed people in this country dropped by 74,000, to 149,732,000 in November.
Jones even had to concede that while the unemployment rate dropped, it was because people dropped out of the labor force.
The number of manufacturing jobs -- the focus of editor in chief Terry Jeffrey's usual sidebar -- showed anemic growth, so much so that Jeffrey didn't outright state what that number was and instead touted how "The United States has added 764,000 manufacturing jobs since jobs in that sector hit a pandemic-era low in April of this year." Craig Bannister's sidebar was the only that that was upbeat, proclaiming that "The unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos improved for the seventh consecutive month in November as the nation’s businesses continued reopening from the coronavirus-prompted shutdown."
But that clearly wasn't enough pro-Trump rah-rah for CNS. That would seem to explain Jeffrey's cherry-picking follow-up article desperately spinning the numbers by comparing them to, um, Obama's first term:
The 6.7 percent unemployment rate that the United States had in November was lower than the unemployment rate for any month during President Barack Obama’s first four years in office, according to the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In fact, the unemployment rate never dropped below 7.7 percent in Obama’s first term in office, and was climbing upward as that term came to an end.
In January 2013, when Obama was inaugurated for his second term, the unemployment rate was 8.0 percent.
In September 2012, as Obama’s first term approached an end, the unemployment rate finally fell below 8 percent, hitting 7.8 percent.
But then by January 2013, it had risen again to 8.0 percent. By the end of 2013, the first year of Obama’s second term, it had dropped to 6.7 percent—the rate it saw in November of this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeffrey failed to acknowledge that there is a huge difference between a major recession and a pandemic-driven shutdown.