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Friday, March 11, 2011

How to play with statistics- quickie example

Associated Press had this headline yesterday-  Unemployment rate falls in 24 states, rises in 10 -- "The unemployment rate fell or held steady in 40 states in January, the latest sign that hiring is strengthening throughout the country."

Hmm.. Really?    Does it..  Let's do some quick math...

50 US States...

24 states the rate falls...  10 states it rises- that equals 34

That means 16 states, unemployment stayed the same.

So really AP could have written:  'The unemployment rate held steady or rose in 26 states (over 50% of US states) in January, the latest sign that hiring has yet to seriously pick up throughout the country'

But that doesn't push the propaganda theme of 'Nation in Recovery'

Does it?

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