Marketplace, the business program produced by American Public Media and heard on public radio stations across the nation, pronounced the latest unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics “really good” in spite of a rise in unemployment from 8.2% to 8.3% and weak job growth that, while positive and better than expected, remains below the rate needed to keep up with new entrants into the job market.
Host Jeremy Hobson went to New York bureau chief Heidi Moore, who declared: “Well it’s a really good report.” Later, she agreed that the U.S. economy appeared to be slowing down, along with the global economy, but added: “a slowdown on a slowdown is an improvement right?”
Hobson also interviewed Wharton business professor Peter Cappelli, who agreed: “Yeah, I think it’s a good report. It largely depends on your expectations. You know, in May we only added 87,000 jobs, and in June we only added 64,000 jobs. So compared to where we were this is pretty good news.”
Not everyone interviewed by Marketplace agreed–one expert pointed out that even 163,000 new jobs being created was not good–but those comments were lost among the generally enthusiastic stories, including an interview with Obama economics adviser Alan Krueger, who declared: “I can tell you that if the proposals the president has made were passed, I would expect the unemployment rate to come down further.”
This on a day when the unemployment rate actually rose.
Marketplace did draw attention to one problem area: women’s unemployment. However, that report was about women in the Palestinian territories, not the United States. The answer? More jobs in radio.