Politico Media Critic Dylan Byers Whines That Fox News 'Buries the Jobs Numbers'
"Fox News again buries the [monthly] jobs numbers," Politico media critic Dylan Byers groused this morning in a 10:23 a.m.-stamped post. Those numbers "appear in the lead or left-hand column atop the websites of the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and MSNBC, as of 10 a.m.," Byers noted.
But as email tipster James Harper pointed out to us, Fox News did later address the jobs report with a front-page story (which is still there) that delves into how the "Jobless stats reveal disparities as economy starts to recover." Disparities such as the fact that:
Black workers still face a 14.1 percent jobless rate. The rate for Hispanics is 10.7 percent.
Education level is a huge factor. While those with a bachelor's degree or higher have a 4.2 percent unemployment rate, those with less than a high school diploma are looking at 12.9 percent unemployment.
Youth unemployment, for those between 16 and 19, is 23.8 percent. Black youth unemployment is 34.7 percent.
Hmm, black voters, the youth vote, Hispanics, working-class stiffs without a high-school degree. Aren't those all traditional Democratic Party voters and Obama base voters? That's troubling data for all those subsets.
Perhaps that's why Politico is covering for the administration on that front. Oh sure, there was this mention of black youth unemployment deep in a February 6 article entitled "The race issues rises again"...:
As president, Obama has gone out of his way to make sure white voters can’t accuse him of favoring blacks, much to the annoyance of the Congressional Black Caucus. The CBC has pressured the White House to do more to more specifically target black youth unemployment, which is nearing 25 percent.
“The president isn’t motivated by politics on these things,” an Obama adviser said. “He believes he’s the president for all Americans. Period.”
Obama has moved to assuage concerns by some in the black community, and senior administration officials recently briefed African-American leaders at the White House on how the administration has helped blacks, issuing a 40-page accounting of the president’s accomplishments.
But that's about it when you search the Politico site between January 1 through today.
Indeed, for months now Politico has been spinning unemployment reports as good news for Obama, skipping, of course, the less-than-rosy unemployment data for blacks, Hispanics, young Americans and less educated ones.
For example, on January 6, reporter Carrie Budoff Brown's January 6 hailed "Barack Obama's (mostly) good week":
As Republicans bickered on the campaign trail, President Barack Obama roared into 2012 with some of the best news he has received in months — an 8.5 percent unemployment rate that suggests the economy may not be the overwhelming election-year drag that his team once feared.
With unemployment declining for the past four months, the brighter outlook not only complicates the basic Republican attack on Obama and his handling of the economy but also poses a challenge for the White House and how far it wants to go in touting the trend.
The struggling U.S. economy beat expectations and added 200,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in nearly three years. Obama touted the numbers as clear evidence of a resurgence but said additional steps must be taken to put more Americans back to work. He pressed Congress to extend for the full year the payroll tax cut that is set to expire in February.
But it's not just Fox News that's finding some negative news for Obama in the jobs report. CNN.com's at time of publication has this teaser headline on the front page: "Stubborn unemployment rate no help to Obama."
Clicking that teaser link takes you to an article by Charles Riley entitled "Obama's dilemma: More jobs, same unemployment rate" (emphasis mine):
[W]hy didn't the unemployment rate change if the economy added jobs?
The unemployment rate measures the percent of the labor force that is unemployed.
The unemployed are individuals who have actively looked for work over the previous four weeks. Looking for work can mean having a job interview, sending out resumes, or even something as simple as calling friends or relatives in hopes of finding a job.
The number of unemployed is then divided by the total labor force. And in February, the size of the labor force increased -- possibly as discouraged workers started looking for work again.
As the labor force swelled, so did the number of new jobs necessary to drop the unemployment rate.
Assuming the labor force participation rate holds steady, and the population grows at the same rate it has over the previous year, the economy needs to add 149,288 jobs per month to get the unemployment rate to 8%.
If the economy could produce 240,247 new jobs a month, under the same assumptions, the rate would fall to 7.5%.
But this is a fragile calculation. If the labor force participation rate ticks up by only half a percent, to 64.4%, the economy would need to add 371,916 jobs per month to reduce the unemployment rate to 7.5%. That's a tall order.
The fact of the matter is that the economy is not growing fast enough to provide new jobs to cut into the unemployment rate significantly. In a reelection year, that's is and should be a troubling sign for an incumbent president.
Just don't tell that to the Obama cheerleaders at Politico. They're too busy popping champagne corks.