Economic Up Is Down
Do you think there comes a point at which people simply stop listening to measurements? As the latest national unemployment numbers rolled out, one certainly got the impression that the news was positive, that recovery is just around the corner. Yet:
U.S. payrolls unexpectedly fell in January, but the unemployment rate surprisingly dropped to a five-month low, according to a government report Friday that hinted at labor market improvement. …
While a sharp increase in the number of people giving up looking for work helped to depress the jobless rate, some details of the employment report were encouraging. The number of “discouraged job seekers” rose to 1.1 million in January from 734,000 a year ago.
The storyline is becoming repetitive. It seems that every time the unemployment numbers drop, lately, it turns out to be a result of discouraged people giving up. In this case, the Reuters reporter is downright confusing. Increasing numbers of “discouraged job seekers” represent an “encouraging detail”? Of course not, but it’s as if one can read right through the text and see the will to spin behind it.