Bad News On Jobs: As Scrutable As It Is Concerting


In the universe of hack journalism, and in the vaster world of careless language everywhere, there's an honored place for words that rarely or never appear without their negating prefixes. You never hear about the gruntled workers, the reverent comedies, the stoppable ball clubs, the vincible armies or the placable foes.

It may be time to add expected/unexpected to this heap. Otherwise, somebody will have to explain how even the most sarcastic copydesk can take bad news on job losses—possibly the most precedented story of our time—and give it the headline "Initial jobless claims increase unexpectedly."

Then again, the Morlocks of the copydesk couldn't come up with a piece of prose poetry like this: "The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers." For that you need AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber. who deserves bridled acclaim for his trepid use of information taken from reproachable analysts and impeachable government sources. It's defatigable journalism like this that makes the thought of a world without the mainstream media so imaginably bleak.