Friday, August 03, 2012

Which is it, young feller?

And today's standing-room-only reserved seat in the unheated cattle car for Siberia goes to -- the little comrade who took a business story at face value and wrote the teaser "Stocks Leap as U.S. Job Growth Heats Up."
One man's "jumped" is another's freedom fighter "crept"; that's just an amusing bit of framing for those who don't read past the hed. Here's the mainbar lede:

The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent in July, reflecting a stagnant economic picture as hiring improved but not by enough to make a dent in the sea of unemployed Americans.

Or, as the generally partisan National Review ("Modest improvement in jobs report") puts it:

Due to the drop in civilian employment, the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent, but there’s no real story there; unrounded, the new jobless rate is 8.254 percent, barely up from 8.217 percent in June.

... one man's terrorist being another's 0.037 percentage points, apparently.

If you were in a fabricating mood, you could probably create some direct quotes for this story that would be indistinguishable from the real thing -- suggesting that if political campaigns want to comment, it might be sensible to direct them to the ad department.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, these unemployment numbers are generated from a survey, right? What's the uncertainty in the estimate of the size of the labor force? Why aren't we demanding 95% CIs?

12:19 PM, August 04, 2012  

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