Neil Irwin writes at the Washington Post`s WonkBlog
If you only looked at the headlines on Friday’s August jobs numbers, you’d think “Not bad!”
You would also be completely wrong.
Yes, the unemployment rate fell a notch to 7.3 percent, from 7.4 percent in July. Yes, the nation added 169,000 jobs, broadly consistent with the pattern of recent months.
But in almost all the particulars, you can find signs that this job market is weaker than it appeared just a few months ago, and maybe getting worse. [More]
Why the difference? Are the headline writers not as clever as WonkBlogger Irwin? No, some of them are smarter. They`re doing it on purpose.
For purposes of “Comment is free but facts are sacred,” jobs reports are facts, headlines are comment. The civil servants at the BLS who produce the actual job report probably voted for Obama, too, but they can`t do much with the facts. The headline writers can.
Never trust a headline.