early and awful

Fox News Informs Us That the ‘Real Unemployment Rate’ Has Nearly Doubled Under Obama [Updated]

“Real” is a subjective term here.

Anyone paying attention (who does not work for Fox News) would realize that something is wrong with the above graphic. As Media Matters noticed, 7.8 percent was Obama’s starting U-3 unemployment rate, which measures the percentage of Americans who are actively looking for work and can’t find it. (This is what people are always talking about when they refer to the “unemployment rate.”) The second number, 14.7 percent — what Fox News calls the “real unemployment rate” — is the current U-6 unemployment rate, which also takes into account the underemployed and those too discouraged to continue looking for work. Mash those two totally different measurements together, and it appears as if unemployment has nearly doubled under Obama. Oops!

In reality, the U-6 (“real”) unemployment rate was at 14.2 in January of 2009, grew to a peak of 17.2 in October of 2009, and has slowly declined since then to its present 14.7 percent.

Other than Fox News, where are you really seeing those statistics?” Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham gushed during the segment. She’s right: You literally can’t find those statistics anywhere except Fox News.

Update: Fox & Friends admitted its mistake this morning:

Fox News Misleads on Unemployment Rate