Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Why is AP buying the spin?

I'm used to the administration and its hucksters spinning the lie that the economy is really a glass half full, but why does the Associated Press feel compelled to engage in this sillines?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Job growth faltered in May, with employers boosting payrolls by just 75,000. Yet the nation's unemployment rate dipped to 4.6 percent, the lowest since the summer of 2001.
Barry Ritholtz is my go-to guy for explaining why this is a bunch of crap, along with the cooking of the CPI numbers, etc. AP's economics reporters should know better. They don't even mention how far under this report is: The target consensus was +170,000 (Bloomberg) or 175,000 (Rueters). And this isn't mentioned until the tenth paragraph:
Adding to the weakness in the payroll picture: job gains for both March and April were lowered. Employers actually added 126,000 new jobs in April, instead of the 138,000 previously reported. For March, employment grew by 175,000, rather than 200,000.
And let's not even get into the "good news" of flat wage growth. That may help hold inflation in check, but it sure doesn't help the average indebted American who, like me, is seeing a 0% cost-of-living increase this year, as in the last three years. Meanwhile, the cost of living is up about 4%. The only way for a worker to interpret this data is "ouch."


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