"State adds 23,300 jobs."
No, it doesn't.
But not one single editor at the Charlotte Sun thought that plump, round number looked a bit fishy.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that Florida probably added about 23,300 non-agricultural jobs in September. But readers are unlikely to know these points of accuracy unless a reporter actually does his job.
Here’s how the reporter doesn't do his job:
- Doesn't say the report is passing along an estimate.
- Doesn't say the estimate comes from sampling surveys – not from tax receipts, not from counts of vacancies filled, not from tallies of names added to payrolls.
- Omits the fact that the federal labor department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics altered its sampling sizes between two of the periods compared.
- Omits the fact that the feds have been sending the states the estimates since March with a specific caveat: “New estimation procedures may result in more month-to-month variability in the estimates, particularly in smaller SMAs.”
But in real journalism, fantasy, spin and lies by omission are never good news.