ZZZZZ! Networks Sleep Through Another Hispanic Unemployment Record Low

There was good news in the latest jobs report. The national unemployment rate fell back to 3.8 percent in February, although the numbers of jobs added was well below expectations. The Hispanic unemployment rate also fell to a new record low of 4.3 percent. But that record didn’t make it into any of the network evening shows that night.

ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs said nothing about that record low on March 8, when the report came out. The three shows also ignored the four prior Hispanic unemployment rate record lows set between November 2017 and October 2018.

For more than a year, those shows have hidden minority unemployment record lows for African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, with only a single broadcast mentioning one of the eight record lows set since November 2017 (1 out of 21 broadcasts).

By ignoring the latest record low from March 8, the networks are now 1 for 24 broadcasts.

Nightly News did air a positive jobs story on March 8. NBC reported that in spite of only 20,000 jobs being added in February, unemployment fell nationally to the very low rate of 3.8 percent. Correspondent Tom Costello provided viewers with a story about employers with job openings, who are struggling to find qualified people to fill those positions.

World News Tonight simply mentioned the “disappointing” number of job gains and the national unemployment rate. CBS Evening News did not cover jobs that night.

MRC Latino also found silence about the record on Spanish-language television on March 8. Incredibly, the flagship evening newscasts of the top three leaders in the Spanish-language television segment — Univision, Telemundo and CNN en Español (which ostensibly exist to report news most relevant to the country's Hispanic population) — also failed to report that a new record-low in Hispanic unemployment was set in February.

Instead, Univision's top national evening news program limited itself to reporting on overall U.S. unemployment falling to 3.8 percent, in anchor Ilia Calderón's words, "the lowest in the last 55 years." Telemundo's national evening news was completely silent on the employment news, while CNN en Español reported on the 4.3 percent Hispanic unemployment rate, but failed to mention that it was a new record low.

Economy Unemployment World News Tonight CBS Evening News NBC Nightly News Telemundo Univision
Julia A. Seymour's picture

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