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Monday, June 20, 2022
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch

Under a headline that sneeringly dismissed great employment news as merely "not bad," Susan Jones' lead article on May's employment numbers still -- still! -- made a point of reminding people that things were even better in the pre-pandemic Trump years and, in CNS style, continued to obsess over the labor force participation rate since that's a number that can be used to obscure the unambiguously positive numbers:

Non-farm payrolls added 390,000 jobs in May, better than the consensus estimate of 350,000, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

With that gain, non-farm employment is down by 822,000, or just 0.5 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

The number of employed people increased by 321,000 to 158,426,000; the number of unemployed people also increased, by 9,000, and this produced an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent for the third straight month. (The number of employed Americans set 25 records under President Trump, reaching an all-time high of 158,866,000 in February 2020.)

In a positive move, the labor force participation rate moved up slightly.

In May, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 263,679,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution, such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care facility.

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,376,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning they were either employed or unemployed -- they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 62.3 percent in May, up from 62.2 percent in April, but still a tenth of a point lower than the 62.4 percent achieved in March.

The participation rate was 61.4 percent when Joe Biden took office. Today's number, 62.3 percent, is still below the Trump-era high of 63.4 percent in February 2020, just before COVID shut things down.

CNS downplayed this good news further by failing to place it in the lead-story slot at the top center of CNS' front page. That honor went to editor Terry Jeffrey's usual sidebar on government employment that "increased by 57,000 in May," which passes as bad news in the CNS bubble because government employment is evil, apparently. But Jeffrey didn't play the Trump game that Jones did, because the graph accompanying his article shows that government employment, like general employment, peaked in early 2020 before the pandemic -- and, thus, under Trump, whose history of prolifigate spending has also been hidden by CNS because it conflicts with the official (and bogus) narrative of him as a fiscally responsible conservative.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:38 PM EDT

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