WRECKED: Media Pushed 1M Jobs Expectation, Now Scrambling to Explain Terrible BLS Jobs Report

News & Politics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a devastating report on job growth in April. It completely destroyed the media hype about the jobs growth under President Joe Biden. Their glowing job predictions were off by at least 734,000 jobs. Perhaps as much as 1,734,000 jobs. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the U.S. economy added an embarrassing 266,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1 percent. Fox Business host Charles Payne summed up the atrocious figures perfectly: “Congratulations President Biden – you have achieved the progressive utopia. At least 7.4 million job openings but only 266,000 people got a job last month.” Less than 4 percent of the approximate job openings were filled. The report came after multiple media outlets were heralding an expected April boom to the tune of — checks notes — 1 million jobs added. 

But Axios was even further off the mark in a May 3 piece headlined, “A jobs report for the ages.” The outlet arguably gave one of the worst predictions for the April jobs growth:

While it is not expected to match or exceed June’s 4.8 million, some economists believe we could see more than 2 million jobs added, compounding the momentum from March when American employers added 916,000 jobs.

Reuters published a piece just hours before the release of the BLS report headlined: “U.S. economy likely created nearly a million jobs in April.” CNBC ran an April 29 story headlined, “April jobs expected to top 1 million as consumers boost the economy.” MarketWatch’s story celebrated, “A million new jobs? That’s how many Wall Street thinks the U.S. created in April.” Barron’s told Americans to “Get Ready” for a jobs explosion: “Get Ready for a Blockbuster Jobs Report of 1 Million or More.” The New York Times live blog ran a hopeful headline just hours before the BLS data released: “Jobs Report Is Expected to Show a Big Gain: Live Updates.” 

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Maybe the media should take former Washington Post Business and economics columnist Steven Pearlstein’s warning about the problems associated with stimulus spending and America entering “the era of the free lunch” seriously now.

The media reactions to the BLS data were just as embarrassing. CNN’s gloomy segment on the new jobs report called the data “a giant miss.” However, CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans still tried to save Biden’s economic face by saying that “this is good to see 266,000.” She even had the audacity to say, “[A]t least it’s going in the right direction.” Really? 

CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Leisman appeared confused and double-checked to make sure the 266,000 figure was real after the network just went through their retrospectively over-optimistic expectations:

 It looks like it was a big disappointment at 266. But maybe I have that wrong. Let me double-check the bureau website here.

Remember when Times economist Paul Krugman celebrated the economic miracle-working power of “Bidenomics”? Now, with the terrible jobs data, the economist initiated a failed Twitter attempt to insulate Biden: “This seems at odds with everything else we’re seeing. But do you really want to keep arguing that the Biden stimulus is excessive?” Interesting, given that Krugman wrote hours before the BLS data released that “[a]ll indications are that we’re headed for the fastest year of growth since the ‘Morning in America’ boom of 1983-1984.” Oops.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist appeared perplexed that the trillions in stimulus spending didn’t boost jobs numbers in the BLS report: “All this money pumped into the economy — into the trillions — from the federal government. What’s going on here?” Stephanie Ruhle explained the BLS data just a moment before, saying businesses were “struggling to bring workers back.” Poor Geist. Perhaps giving people free money is actually a really bad method to stimulate the economy?

Conservatives are under attack. Contact ABC News (818-460-7477), CBS News (212-975-3247) and NBC News (212- 664-6192) and demand they cover the BLS report and not spin the news to insulate Biden during their evening coverage tonight.

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