Accuracy in Media

The latest unemployment report issued by the government was unexpectedly positive, but readers wouldn’t know it from the tweet ABC News issued Friday morning.

While the tweet correctly noted the number of jobs added last month, it also said that the unemployment rate fell “slightly” to 8.4% from July.  Slightly?

In July ,the government reported that the unemployment rate was 10.2%.  Expectations by economists predicted that the August rate would be in the neighborhood of 9.8% which would qualify as a slight improvement.

However, going from 10.2%to 8.4% is not slight by anyone’s standards – except those at ABC News, apparently.

The economy is a long way from returning to pre-pandemic levels. There are jobs that may never come back as a result of the restructuring that has and will take place as a result of COVID-19.

However, that doesn’t mean that when unemployment drops fairly significantly that it should be described inaccurately.



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