Friday, July 2, 2010

It's Not Just That It's Spin, It's Bad Spin

A couple of days ago, I saw this headline from the AP (via MSNBC):

Layoffs of census workers will distort jobs data

I found the headline a bit dishonest but considering that it was the AP, I was not all that surprised since the AP has moved far from the days when it was a premier news gathering and reporting agency. Unfortunately for a lot of folks, though, as the AP has gotten worse, more and more newspapers and news sites rely on it because they've cut their own news gathering staff to a minimum.

Then this morning, I saw this article from today's NY Times where the reporter used the same dishonest framing in her lede:
The June jobs report, which comes out on Friday, will probably look very bad, reinforcing worries that the recovery is teetering. But first impressions might be deceiving.

Folks, the "distortion" in the jobs data was not due to the lay-off of Census workers. It was due to the admittedly temporary nature of the Census hiring in the first place. So when the economy loses 125K jobs and the private sector has created only 83K according to today's Jobs Report, that is a more accurate reflection of the official numbers.

Now, I personally believe the official numbers are woefully understated. While the official Unemployment rate is showing at 9.5%, my gut tells me it is probably a third again higher. Especially when
The unemployment rate fell as 652,000 people gave up on their job searches and left the labor force. People who are no longer looking for work aren't counted as unemployed.

All told, 14.6 million people were looking for work in June. Counting those who have given up their job searches and those who are working part time but would prefer full-time work, the underemployment rate edged down to 16.5 percent from 16.6 percent in May.

I'm just stubborn enough that I refuse to give up. But I can understand why people do. The frustrations when you know you can do a job as listed by the requirements yet you can't even get a phone interview, much less a face-to-face talk. I have to take very deep breaths and try to not bite the head off recruiters when they ask me why I've been out of work for such a long time. And I do list that I've had a few part-time contract positions and have a part-time position right now, although not in my chosen field.

There are millions of us out here, looking for work, wanting to work, and putting up with the insults from elected officials, office seekers, and pundits who claim that we're all just lazy bums looking for a life on the dole.

We are not lazy bums. We are not looking for a free ride. We are able to work in our fields. We want to work in our fields. We'd like to earn an honest wage for our efforts. This is not too much to ask (unless the goal is to destroy the US, which it seems just might be the case).

And because I can:

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