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Jobs Figures Good Enough for Fox

Reported by Judy - September 3, 2004 -

Fox News personalities today (Sept. 3) called the job-creation figure "close enough (to estimates) for government work," even though it means the number of jobs in America has gone backward under George Bush.

The Labor Department reported 144,000 jobs were added in August and that the jobless rate fell slightly to 5.4 percent in August, the lowest since last May. Job creation numbers for June and July also were revised upward.

Fox regular Gary B. Smith of realmoney.com noted that experts had predicted 150,000 new jobs but that the 6,000-job shortfall was "close enough for government work." Although it was not as strong as Republicans would have liked, he said, the number was not as bad as Democrats wanted. What people who are out of work might have preferred, Smith did not mention.

Fox also showed Bush in Pennsylvania bragging about the creation of 1.7 million jobs since August 2003 and claiming that the 5.4 percent jobless rate was below the average for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Sometimes, averages hide more than they reveal. Midwest farm states were especially hard-hit in the Reagan years with farm foreclosures, bank failings, and plant closings. Unemployment in my hometown topped 18 percent.

Fox did not have a statement from John Kerry's campaign, but his campaign was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that the number of jobs in America is still lower than when Bush took office and that Bush has yet to create a single job.

Overall, Fox seemed not to be hyping the job figures during these two hours. Neil Cavuto will have to do double duty later today.