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Karen Cyphers: Jobs data incomplete, but Dem rebukes are a greater folly

Usually it is Democrats who have the short-sentence sell: “This (fill in the blank) will help people.”

As news circulates that Florida’s unemployment rate fell again in August, Republicans have the easy pitch, “It’s working,” while critics must expend a lot of breath to argue it is not as it seems.

It’s a lot simpler to say, “Unemployment has fallen!” than it is to say, “But the workforce itself has contracted due to pessimism, discouragement, shifts in expectations and so on, so that the stats you see today are a reflection of a worse job market, not one that’s gotten better.”

For people who must write in bullet points, long explanations are the arch nemesis. To think you are right, but with a multi-part argument to prove it, feels worse than being wrong.

And because this is a complex world, the most reasonable answer is usually not the most succinct.

So, back to jobless data, I’m cool with considering that the workforce has changed, and that Florida’s true employment landscape may not be fully depicted in the numbers.

But to do so would require this same logic to be applied universally, not just to states that have Republican governors.

As in, when the White House boasts of an improving economy based on a decline in jobless numbers, Democratic operatives should issue a rebuke just as they have in Florida.

Considering that measurement flaws are the same across states, Florida’s sixth consecutive month below the national jobless rate is an indicator of relative success.

So let’s just go with the numbers: of Floridians looking to work, more have jobs today than before.

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