CBS, NBC Barely Cover Massive Jobs Report; ABC Boasts ‘Jobs Growth Soars’

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As our sister site CNS News pointed out, Friday morning’s jobs report was a smashing success for both the American economy and the Trump administration with “a whopping 266,000 jobs in November; and for the sixth month in a row, a record number of Americans were counted as employed.” The unemployment rate fell “to 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.”

But when it came time for the Friday broadcast network evening newscasts, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News couldn’t be bothered with spending more than a short news brief (21 seconds each) on the story.

 

 

On CBS, anchor Norah O’Donnell reported:

New job numbers are in and employers went on a hiring spree last month. 266,000 jobs were added in November. That is the most since January and with that, the unemployment rate fell .10 of a point to three-and-a-half percent. That matches a 50-year low and wages rose by a solid 3.1 percent year-to-year. 

To her credit, the newscast didn’t even cover impeachment (aside from a tease at the end of the show for CBS coverage of Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing).

As for NBC’s 21 seconds, anchor Lester Holt stated that “President Trump is touting more strong economic numbers today with the jobs report exceeding expectations.” 

To muddy the waters, Holt noted prior to the historic unemployment stat that “[p]art of” the jobs number was only because “nearly 50,000 GM workers return[ed]...after a strike.”

NBC did cover impeachment, choosing to spend one minute and 23 seconds on the latest blow-by-blow in the attempt by Democrats to impeach and remove Trump from office. 

So 21 seconds on a historic jobs report, but roughly four times that something that, at best, has country split 50-50.

In contrast, ABC’s World News Tonight took the jobs report seriously, giving it a one-minute-and-16-second segment (versus one minute and 23 seconds for impeachment, so almost equal time) and accompanied by the chyron “Job Growth Soars; U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 50-Year Low.”

“And to news on the economy tonight, your 401(k), and jobs, and a better than expected jobs report out tonight. Employers adding 266,000 jobs in November, unemployment inching down again to 3.5%,” anchor David Muir began before bringing in chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.

Jarvis stated that “this was a much stronger than expected jobs report” and broke it down, with big hirings coming in “health care and leisure and hospitality” along with “professional and technical services and finally in manufacturing.” She did take note of the GM works, but it was as part of that broader context.

Muir then seemed exasperated at how strong the numbers have been even though “you and I were talking about a year ago, going into the holidays, there was real concern about a slowing economy.”

Jarvis replied in the affirmative since “we saw it in the stock market” but those fears weren’t realized:

The market is now up about 25 percent for the year, but last year at this time, the concern was uncertainty over the trade deal with China and that uncertainty is still there, but the consumers has held up. They are spending. They are confident. They are shopping. And that has pushed Wall Street higher and it’s also led to new jobs.

To see the relevant transcripts from the broadcast network evening newscasts on December 6, click “expand”)

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell
December 6, 2019
6:43 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Jobs Report]

NORAH O’DONNELL: New job numbers are in and employers went on a hiring spree last month. 266,000 jobs were added in November. That is the most since January and with that, the unemployment rate fell .10 of a point to three-and-a-half percent. That matches a 50-year low and wages rose by a solid 3.1 percent year-to-year. 

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
December 6, 2019
7:11 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Jobs Surge]

LESTER HOLT: Meantime, President Trump is touting more strong economic numbers today with the jobs report exceeding expectations. The economy adding another 266,000 jobs in November. Part of that coming from nearly 50,000 GM workers returning from after a strike. Unemployment dropped back down to the lowest rate in 50 years, 3.5 percent.

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
December 6, 2019
6:43 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Jobs Growth Soars]

DAVID MUIR: And to news on the economy tonight, your 401(k), and jobs, and a better than expected jobs report out tonight. Employers adding 266,000 jobs in November, unemployment inching down again to 3.5 percent, so let’s right to chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis who’s with us tonight. And Rebecca, first of all, the White House welcoming this news and where are these new jobs? 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Your Money; Job Growth Soars; U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 50-Year Low]

REBECCA JARVIS: Well, David, this was a much stronger than expected jobs report and some of the biggest hiring happened in health care and leisure and hospitality, both of those industries added 45,000 jobs. There were also strong gains in professional and technical services and finally in manufacturing, which added 54,000 jobs. Now, about 41,000 of those jobs were GM employees returning to work after the strike. 

MUIR: Now, this was a much different picture from the one you and I were talking about a year ago. Going into the holidays, there was real concern about a slowing economy. 

JARVIS: Exactly and we saw it in the stock market, which collapsed at the end of last year. The market is now up about 25 percent for the year, but last year at this time, the concern was uncertainty over the trade deal with China and that uncertainty is still there, but the consumers has held up. They are spending. They are confident. They are shopping. And that has pushed Wall Street higher and it’s also led to new jobs. 

MUIR: Alright, our chip — chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis. Thank you, Rebecca. 

NB Daily Economy Business Coverage Unemployment ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Rebecca Jarvis David Muir Lester Holt Norah O'Donnell Donald Trump
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