The unemployment numbers came in worse than expected this morning and the Washington Post’s Frank Ahrens points out that they’re really worse than most people reported.

That’s because the headline U-3 unemployment number doesn’t include people so down on their luck that they’ve quit looking for work. And that’s no insignificant amount. Last month it was 661,000 people, enough, Ahrens reports, to move the U-3 unemployment number to 10.4 percent from 10 percent if they were included.

See, you’re considered “unemployed” only if you don’t have a job and you’re looking for one. If you’ve given up looking altogether you still don’t have a job. But hey, at least in the eyes of the Labor Department, you’re no longer “unemployed.” Which doesn’t do anything for your wallet but may boost your self-esteem.

Ahrens points out the U-6 number, which includes these people and which hit an ugly 17.3 percent in December, as a better measure of the jobs situation.

Gawker has more on that piece Reuters spiked after SAC Capital’s Stevie Cohen complained to an exec there about it. This looks ugly for Reuters:

Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger told staffers in a conference call Wednesday that an investigation into billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen that he killed last month after Cohen called to complain was “not a bad story” and “could have run.”

Which doesn’t really explain why he killed it, does it?

No it doesn’t.

— Sharon Waxman of The Wrap reports of a new low at the LA Times, which has outsourced handed over its late press run to The Wall Street Journal:

That in turn has meant sacrificing news for the L.A. Times front page. The front page will now close at 6 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. and midnight, as has been the case until now.

Late-breaking news will go into a new supplement section.

This won’t help the LAT’s cratering print circulation:

Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal will now feature fresher news on their front pages than the L.A. Times — a reality that has some newsroom insiders livid.

(h/t David Carr)


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.