CNSNews.com's coverage of the April employment numbers didn't end with its skewed reporting on the numbers themselves. Like its Media Research Center parent, CNS pounced on the lower-than-expected job growth figures to push right-wing narratives about too-generous unemployment insurance supposedly discouraging people from getting jobs. A May 7 article by Melanie Arter highlighted how "Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday that the extra unemployment compensation funds were not a factor that made a difference in last month’s jobs numbers." Taht was followed by Craig Bannister gloating over how "liberal media" predictions of robust job growth didn't come to pass:
Confident that the Biden Administration’s policies would produce a robust jobs report for April, liberal media ran headlines and stories promising job growth numbers that proved to exceed reality by more than seven hundred thousand, and as much as 1.7 million.
As CNSNews.com reported, Friday’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report reveals that the unemployment rate increased slightly in April as the ranks of the unemployed grew by 102,000, with the month’s job growth failing to reach even half that of recent months:
Bannister then linked back to an even gloatier NewsBusters post on the same subject.
A May 10 article by Susan Jones, meanwhile, again highlighted "the disappointing April jobs report" and noted that Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said "there is 'anecdotal evidence' but 'nothing in the data' to suggest that higher unemployment benefits, passed by Congress as part of COVID relief, are hurting the job market."
CNS also offered plenty of opinion on the subject:
- A May 12 column by Tony Perkins complained that "The Democrats' COVID welfare -- a mix of generous unemployment benefits and stimulus checks -- is turning the country's workforce into a bunch of highly-paid couch potatoes" (never mind that both stimulus checks and higher unemployment benefits began under President Trump).
- Pat Buchanan huffed in his May 14 column: "Workers might reasonably ask: Why go back to work when we can take the summer off, with full unemployment, plus $300 a week?"
- David Limbaugh whined: "You don't increase productivity and jobs by injecting play money into the economy and continuing to pay unemployment benefits that disincentivize people from returning to work, a reality he cynically denies."
- Stephen Moore complained: "President Joe Biden made the laughable observation that he saw "no measurable evidence" that the super generous unemployment program is a deterrent to working. He needs to get out more."
- Craig Bannister grumbled that White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that "It’s not that federal subsidies to unemployment insurance benefits have made it more attractive for people to stay home than to return to work, it’s that other factors, such as the low pay being offered, are discouraging would-be workers."
Acutally, numerous studies have shown that unemployment benefits do not keep people from seeking work. But CNS never reported that perspective to its readers -- the right-wing narrative comes before the truth.