Friday, February 19, 2010

Unexpected -- Again???

With unswerving regularity, the mass media daily headlines the "unexpected" events and data of the Obama administration. Yesterday the Associated Press used their worn out headline: "Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly." They must have believed Obama's promise about the infamous Stimulus Bill despite decades of history to the contrary.

Here is a graphic about joblessness. The figures are correct except the typo about January 2090 instead of 2009.

Also interesting to note is the difference between the way the media interprets jobless data. When George Bush was president, an unemployment rate between 5% and 6% was never praised and often used as proof of a Bush recession. On the other hand, throughout the Carter administration, the media frequently mentioned that 6% unemployment figure might reflect too high of an expectation in the modern era. During Obama's tenure, nearly all media outlets hype the good news if only the unemployment rate doesn't fall as much as predicted.

See Sweetness and Light if you want more information about Bush and unemployment.

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