ABC Botches Jobs Report: Touts Incorrect, Obama-Favorable Unemployment Numbers

Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Friday reported incorrect jobs numbers, touting stats more favorable to Barack Obama and less reflective of the dismal facts. In the 8am hour, news reader Elliott insisted that "new figures show" an unemployment rate "sitting" at 8.1 percent for May with 158,000 new jobs created. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In fact, unemployment rose to 8.2 percent and only 69,000 jobs were created.    

The monthly unemployment numbers are usually released about 8:30am. In the hours before an announcement, GMA has previously reported what the projections suggest. In fact, in the 7am news hour, Elliott allowed that "the government is expected to report it's added some 158,000 jobs." He offered no such caution in the 8am hour. 

ABC's huge graphics with incorrect data didn't help. (See examples at right and below.)

Possibly in an attempt to rationalize, Elliott mentioned that it's "even worse" in Europe. He added, "The unemployment rate in Spain rose to 24 percent."

Despite getting the numbers wrong, Elliott did concede, "The number of jobs created fell far short of the numbers we saw earlier this year and those new jobs last month were not enough to put a real significant dent in the unemployment rate."
  
A transcript of the June 1 segments can be found below:


7:13

JOSH ELLIOTT: This morning, May is in the history books. It was not a good month for wall street. The Dow suffered its worst month in two years. Part of the problem, no real improvement in job creation. This morning, the government is expected to report it's added some 158,000 jobs, far below the numbers we saw earlier this year and not enough to lower the unemployment rate, which still sits at 8.1 percent.


8:02

JOSH ELLIOTT: Meanwhile, millions of Americans looking for a job may have to wait even longer. New figures show no real improvement in the labor market last month. [ABC graphic: 158,000 jobs. (sic)] The number of jobs created fell far short of the numbers we saw earlier this year and those new jobs last month were not enough to put a real significant dent in the unemployment rate, which currently sits at 8.1 percent. [Graphic 8.1% unemployment. (sic)] It's even worse, though, in Europe, whose massive debt crisis is now jeopardizing the entire global economy. The unemployment rate in Spain rose to 24 percent.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org