The AP Debates Trump On Jobs

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The Associated Press is bidding to overtake the New York Times as the most biased news source in America. To perhaps a greater degree even than the Times and the Washington Post, the AP has set itself up as the opposition to the Trump administration. Often, its bias has to be seen to be believed. As with this story: “Jobs report no longer phony, Trump says, now that it’s his.”

The AP jumps straight into the fray, attacking the president:

President Donald Trump is embracing government numbers he once maligned as “phony” as he tries to take credit for the latest U.S. jobs report.

The new administration on Friday promoted Labor Department statistics that show U.S. employers added 235,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate dipped to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent.
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What a difference from last year’s presidential campaign, when Trump repeatedly assailed the report’s legitimacy.

Back then, candidate Trump denounced “phony unemployment numbers” he claimed had been invented to make the Democrats look good.

“Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35,” he said last February, on the day of the New Hampshire presidential primary.

“The 5 percent figure is one of the biggest hoaxes in modern politics,” he said.

The AP is conflating two different statistics. Trump didn’t say the jobs numbers are phony, he said the unemployment rate is more or less meaningless. He is right about that. The unemployment rate has become largely irrelevant, for two reasons. First, it doesn’t distinguish between full-time and part-time work. Second, it simply leaves out those who have left the job market. There is no contradiction in pointing out the limits of that statistic, while being happy that more than 200,000 jobs are added to the economy.

The AP keeps battling:

During a speech at the Detroit Economic club last year, Trump pointed to figures that show one in five American households do not have a single member in the labor force. He failed to mention the one in five includes children, young people in school and senior citizens who are retired.

That doesn’t even make sense. A household comprised entirely of children? Or “young people in school”? The AP reporter seems to have dashed this off without even thinking about what his sentence was supposed to mean.

The AP wants to make sure President Trump doesn’t get any credit for the currently strengthening economy:

While business and consumer confidence have risen since the presidential election, economists also say it’s too soon for Trump to be taking credit for jobs.

“No new economic policies have yet been enacted,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West. Instead, he pointed to an unusually mild winter that likely boosted hiring by construction firms.

Right. But, as many observers have pointed out, businesses are encouraged by the prospect of lower taxes and, especially, less irrational regulation. It makes perfect sense that some of them are hiring in anticipation of an improving business climate.

But don’t tell that to the Associated Press.