Nets Ignore 'Full Employment' Report From Favorite Economist

Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, the broadcast networks desperately tried to put a positive spin on the weakest economic recovery since World War II. But now that unemployment is predicted to drop below 4 percent, they are silent.

Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi announced the April 4.4 percent unemployment rate means “the economy has returned to full employment” in a May 10 report. That’s good news for President Donald Trump, who promised to “create a total of 25 million new jobs” by 2027, according to Politico.

But between May 10 and May 14, none of the broadcast network news shows reported Zandi’s findings.

In contrast, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows referenced or spoke to Zandi 182 times since Jan. 20, 2009, when President Barack Obama took office. That’s an average of more than twice a month. But Zandi hasn’t been mentioned since Sept. 27, 2016, when CBS Evening News cited his donations to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign (he gave $2,700).

CBS Evening News did however find two minutes, 43 seconds on May 12 to tell the story of a retired journalist whose cell phone email app mysteriously displayed a blurred photo of his mother, a week after her funeral.

Zandi’s report is good news for the American economy, which hasn’t seen unemployment down to 4.4 percent since the 2008 recession. But the networks have so far refused to cover it.

Full employment, as cited by Zandi, means “the unemployment rate is low by historical standards, most workers looking for a job can get one, and labor shortages are developing in some areas,” Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman wrote, summarizing Zandi’s findings.

“With full employment, good things should soon happen for many of the heretofore financially disenfranchised,” Zandi’s report predicted.

“The unemployment rate was at 4.4% right before the last recession started, in 2007. It peaked at 10% during the recession and has since fallen back to 4.4%,” Newman continued, “forecasters expect unemployment to fall further, perhaps even dipping below 4% by the end of the year or early 2018.”

The network blackout of Zandi’s findings was similar to their coverage (or lack thereof) for Trump’s post-inauguration meetings with CEOs, executives and small business leaders. Between Jan. 20 2017 and April 4, 2017 Trump met with 99 different business leaders. ABC, NBC and CBS mentioned the meetings in just 10 stories, and only quote three of the leaders who met with Trump.

Aly Nielsen
Aly Nielsen
Alatheia Larsen is a staff writer and research analyst for MRC Business.