Monica Crowley falsely claimed that "unemployment ... remains at historical lows"

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

On The McLaughlin Group, Monica Crowley falsely claimed that "unemployment, which is starting to tick up, still remains at historical lows." In fact, every state except West Virginia has a higher unemployment rate -- some significantly higher -- than its historic low. Moreover, the current national rate of 6.1 percent is higher than when President Bush took office in January 2001, when it was 4.2 percent, and is just two-tenths of a percentage point below the highest rate of the past 10 years.

During the September 21 edition of the syndicated program The McLaughlin Group, in a discussion of Sen. John McCain's claim that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," Fox News contributor Monica Crowley falsely claimed that "unemployment, which is starting to tick up, still remains at historical lows." In fact, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), every state except West Virginia (with unemployment equal to its historic low) has a higher unemployment rate -- some significantly higher -- than its historic low. Thirteen states' current unemployment rates are at least double their historic low, including Connecticut, whose 6.5 percent unemployment rate more than triples its historic low. Moreover, not only is the national unemployment rate not a "historical low[]," but the current rate of 6.1 percent is higher than when President Bush took office in January 2001, when it was 4.2 percent. According to the BLS, the national unemployment rate is now just two-tenths of a percentage point below the highest rate of the past 10 years, when it reached 6.3 percent in June 2003.

From the September 21 edition of The McLaughlin Group:

McLAUGHLIN: McCain says the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Is that a gaffe? Watch.

McCAIN [video clip]: This foundation of our economy, the American worker, is strong.

McLAUGHLIN: Question: Is McCain solving the problem he created when he says that the American worker is the foundation? Presumably, the collective fundamentals of the economy. Does that give him cover, Monica?

CROWLEY: Well, he tried to clean up his initial comment, there. But what you didn't play, the second part of his clip was, the fundamentals of the economy are strong, and then he said but we are in very very difficult times, which nobody played, including you. He was talking about -- he tried to say he was talking about the American worker, but there are elements in this economy, which is vast and complex, that do remain strong. That is worker productivity. Unemployment, which is starting to tick up, still remains at historical lows. Exports remain very high. There is a more favorable trade balance going on, which is producing this growth that we saw in the last quarter of 3.3 percent. I'm not saying that politically it was a very smart thing for him to say. He tried to clean it up, and he wasn't entirely wrong when he made that comment.

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
Person
Monica Crowley
Show/Publication
The McLaughlin Group
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