Compare And Contrast News Stories Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Economics Type: Essay Paper: #33355397 Related Topics: Comparative, Comparison, Contrast, Comparative Analysis
Excerpt from Essay :

Labor market and the reporting for the status thereof would seem to be an easy thing to interpret and take in. However, that is really not the case. When one throws in the different "types" of labor rates that exist, the fact that many are "seasonally adjusted" and so forth, it is easy for the "simple" to become more difficult and complex. This report will give an example news article, a review of the literature that explains and backs up the news article, the methodology that was used to create this report, a results and discussion section that explains the findings and a summary and conclusion that wraps things up. While the entire picture of what makes up labor statistics may seem a little daunting, it can all be explained and understood with a little effort.

Review of Literature

The news article that will be the starting point for this report was issued about three days ago by the news/political site the Politico. The article explains how the economy added 223,000 jobs in June. It also explains that this is a fall from the 280,000 jobs that were added in May. It is explained that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.3% which is a drop from 5.5% from May. One analyst, by the name of Stephen Stanley, says that the economy is "strong" but that wages are "weak" in that they are not rising. However, they are not falling either, so that is apparently better than nothing. The article also notes that last quarter's GDP number was actually negative but the strong job growth numbers probably will make that an anomaly rather than a sign of things to come. The article also notes that prior month calculations were taken lower than they were originally touted as being. May was lowered from 280,000 to 254,000 and April went from 223,000 to 187,000. One notable statistic in the data was that the labor participation rate, that being the amount of people out of the entire potential workforce that actually participate in the workforce, dropped about 0.3% to 62.6%. This is a drop from 66% on the "eve" of the 2007-2009 recession. In other words, the amount of people actually working or trying to work has dropped nearly four percent since the start of the Great Recession (Noah, 2015).

What that news article shows is that the data from just one labor market report can have such mixed data. There was good (the jobs amount going up), the bad (the labor participation rate going down) and the stuff in the middle (flat wages). Because of this every mixed bag of statistics, one can see the proverbial spin machines that occur in the rest of the news media when those other sources try to analyze and "position" the information they way that they see it or, more often, the way they want others to see it. For example, a different article about the very same data was quite blunt with its headline in that it said "Jobs at a Crossroads: Hiring up, Pay Flat." The sub-headline notes that the labor market has been recovering over the last six years in a "fitful" way. What makes the Wall Street article different is that they focused much more on the labor participation rate. For example, they note that there are 1.9 million people that are "available to work" but that are not "active" looking to get a job. They say that this is quite notable given that more than 2.9 million jobs have been created over the last year. The Wall Street Journal article also seizes on the fact that wages were flat in the report. They assert that wages must be raised (at least nominally) for job growth to continue to thrive and grow. However, they did present another side in the form of an economist from JP Morgan...

...

While the prior two articles sounded a few alarm bells and were quite mixed in terms of how optimistic the country should be about the unemployment rate and such, the headline of the CNN article notes without any context that the rate of unemployment is the lowest in seven years. The sub-head details how the "weather is warming up in American and so is the economy." The article does mention wage growth but it is buried in the fourth paragraph. They also mention the labor participation rate falling. Overall, CNN says much the same things as the other article but the way in which it is positioned is noticeably different from the other article. Even after they reveal some of the negative data, they are quick to offer a "still" and suggest that the job growth in June is a good sign for the economy. The article comes off as a blend of news and an attempt to gin up people to believe the economy is doing just fine even if some metrics are lacking (Gillespie, 2015).

Another article that came in light of the June 2015 jobs data took a wider view. Indeed, it chose to mark the six-year anniversary of the end of the Great Recession. The article notes that job growth remains weak as compared to prior recessions but it also notes that the Great Recession was the worst recession since its related namesake, the Great Depression. The article also notes that long-term employment remains high and that many Americans who want jobs are "uncounted." The article explains that the rate commonly used when explaining unemployment data is the "U-3" rate. Indeed, that rate does not count people who have exhausted unemployment benefits nor does it count people that have given up and are no longer looking. It also does not count people who are "under-employed," which are people that are working part-time but would rather work full-time. Even up until now, there is a 5.4% gap between the U-3 unemployment rate and the U-6. This would mean the U-6 unemployment rate is in excess of 10%. Fairly recently, it has been as high as 12% or more. The chart that shows that gap can be seen in the appendix. There is also a graph that shows total employment vs. The average wage. In 2010, those two lines on the graph were aligned. However, the average wage took a major dip and is just now starting to recover. It is a full seven points behind the total employment rate (American Progress, 2015).

Finally, there is the Washington Post article on the subject. It touts the relevant statistics in the headline and then shows the job growth or loss chart for the last seven years. The Washington Post article talks about the job growth, the wages being flat and the workforce participation in the very first paragraph with no emotion tied to it. They also tie in the fact that Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy and how the markets opened slightly up in light of the combined data that came out. One thing to note is that the economist that the story chooses to quote is from the AFL-CIO, which is a union group. Pretty much everyone quoted for the article, including the union person, states that the jobs report is a mixed bag in terms of what is good and what is bad.

Methodology

The author of this report, pursuant to the assignment, sought out a news story in the last two months. Specifically, the article was about the unemployment rate and the other associated statistics that came out for the month of June. The author then pulled four more news reports about the same news and compared and contrasted the data in terms of what was mentioned, what was not mentioned, how it was positioned, who was interviewed and so forth. The author did a Google search and pulled the first five reputable news site articles that pertained to the June 2015 job numbers. Some of the sites were obviously straight "news" sites (e.g. Washington Post, CNN) while others were in a different class (American Progress, Politico).

Results & Discussion

The author of this report would suggest that the theory going in to this report was that different news and political sites will take the same precise information and position it differently. The author of this report is not going to make any accusations, but the obvious reasons that this could occur is incomplete analysis, political bias, monetary or investment bias and just bad reporting. Indeed, there are indeed a lot of people in the political and news sphere that likely have an axe to grind in terms of ideology but those people are obviously not always forthright and honest about that. On the other hand, some people are quite clear about what they believe, what they want, who they believe, who they support…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

American Progress,. (2015). The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-June 2015 Jobs Release. name. Retrieved 5 July 2015, from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2015/06/04/114435/the-state-of-the-u-s-labor-market-pre-june-2015-jobs-release/

Gillespie, P. (2015). Unemployment falls to 5.3% -- lowest in 7 years. CNNMoney. Retrieved 5 July 2015, from http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/02/news/economy/us-jobs-report-june-223000/

Harlan, C. (2015). Economy adds 223,000 jobs in June; unemployment rate drops to 5.3%. Washington Post. Retrieved 5 July 2015, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/07/02/june-jobs-and-employment-report/

Morath, E. (2015). Jobs at a Crossroads: Hiring Up, Pay Flat. WSJ. Retrieved 5 July 2015, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/jobs-report-u-s-payrolls-climb-by-223-000-1435840430
Noah, T. (2015). U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in June. POLITICO. Retrieved 5 July 2015, from http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/june-2015-unemployment-numbers-119680.html
Source: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2015/06/04/114435/the-state-of-the-u-s-labor-market-pre-june-2015-jobs-release/


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