Saturday’s front-page teaser for its Page One business section story by Edmund Andrews and Richard Stevenson (“Bush Cites 2 Million New Jobs in 2005 and Healthy Economy”) is headlined “Jobless Rate Declines But Wages Lag Inflation.”
This continues the Times’ stubborn insistence on putting a negative spin on good economic news, a motif reflected in the paper’s broader coverage.
By contrast, when the job numbers weren’t as impressive, the paper trumpeted the figures not merely in the business section, but in its lead story, as TimesWatch recounted back on August 9, 2004:
“David Leonhardt's lead story Saturday on the latest disappointing job figures is headlined: ‘Slow Job Growth Raises Concerns On U.S. Economy."’ The headline to the online edition is much blunter and more partisan: ‘In Blow to Bush, Only 32,000 Jobs Created in July.’”
The Times also tries to deny the good economic news in its Saturday editorial, “An Anemic Jobs Recovery,” making two abstract comparisons that have little to do with the actual current state of the economy.
“Responding to yesterday's government report showing paltry job creation in December, Treasury Secretary John Snow urged Americans not to overreact to one month's snapshot, but to focus on the bigger picture. But that picture is not so pretty. In 2005, the economy added about 2 million jobs. At this point in the last recovery, the yearly job-gain total was 3.5 million. The longer view is even uglier. Job growth in the current period is the worst by far of the four comparable economic upturns since the 1960's: 2.7 percent versus the 7.8 percent tallied in the weakest of those earlier recoveries.”
The editorial doesn’t even acknowledge today’s low 4.9% unemployment rate, or that, at 305,000, the adjusted job rate for November was far higher than the Labor Department estimated last month.
For more examples of New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.