15 September 2012

It Takes One to Know One



Some hack calls out FoxNews for lying about unemployment:

During a segment criticizing the Obama administration for its messaging on the economy, a Fox & Friends graphic claimed that the "real unemployment rate" had increased from 7.8% in 2009 to 14.7% now:

But in order to make the claim that unemployment had increased from 7.8% to 14.7% during Obama's time in office, Fox had to conflate two different statistics and completely distort Obama's jobs record.

The 7.8 percent figure is the official unemployment rate from January 2009. This statistic reports on people who are unemployed and actively looking for a job. But as of the latest report, the official unemployment rate is 8.1 percent (0.3 percent higher than it was in January 2009), not 14.7 percent.

The 14.7 percent figure is a completely different measurement of the unemployed, which in addition to those who are actively looking for work, also counts people who are unemployed and discouraged from looking for a new job, part-time workers who prefer full-time employment, and more. This alternative measure of unemployment, which conservatives often call the "real" unemployment rate, was 14.2 percent in January 2009 -- 0.5 percentage points lower than it is today.

So, it sounds like unemployment hasn’t gotten that much worse during the course of Obama’s administration,* doesn’t it?  Oh, wait…

* As if the president is primarily responsible for every last aspect of the economy anyway, but that’s a post for another day.

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