Friday’s Jobs Number Won’t Be Big News

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.I realize this is pointless, but I have to say it anyway. On Friday morning the BLS will release employment numbers for April. They will show something like eleventy jillion jobs lost, which will prompt banner headlines everywhere. Worst Job Loss Since Great Depression! Unemployment at Record High!
This is ridiculous. It’s like passing Prohibition and then following up with a breathless headline about people buying less booze. I mean, if you literally order 30 million people to stop working, then of course the BLS is going to report that 30 million jobs have been “lost.” It’s completely meaningless.
So is there any chance we could all go easy on this? You know, go ahead and report it, but do it in context and not in 100 point type? That would be great. Thanks.

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