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Market News and Trends

Good news, but you can’t tell it!

The following post appeared this morning on, written by Austin American-Statesman staff:

Austin jobless rate falls, but job losses continue

Is it too much to ask that journalists would pay attention to their use of  the English language?  Without even reading the rest of the article, it is clear that both clauses in the headline cannot be true!

It gets better (or worse):  The first sentence in the body of that Statesman post reads, “The Austin area unemployment rate fell in November, but job growth deepened, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.”   There is the real news … that unemployment in the Austin area was lower in November than in October.   If you have followed my previous comments on this topic, you know that this makes four consecutive months of job  growth.  Does that information appear anywhere in the Statesman item?  NO!

In that same sentence, what does “job growth deepened” even mean?  Job losses can deepen.  Water can deepen.  Colors can deepen.  But job growth?

Most of the rest of what Statesman staff wrote compared 2009 to 2008, and yes, in that comparison, employment is down 4,300 jobs year-to-year.  The same TWC  press release that prompted the Statesman post reports that the Austin-Round Rock metro area employed  had 843,100 workers in November 2009.  Yes, total employment in our area is down 1/2 of 1% compared to November of last year.  Down is down, but where’s the perspective?  And when we have been adding jobs month to month since August, why write a headline that says “job losses continue”?  It is simply false!

Almost as an afterthought, the Statesman noted that the Texas employers added jobs for the second month in November.  But no positive footnote for the paper’s hometown!

Sure, bad news sells newspapers, but come on guys … get a grip.  Don’t go out of your way to talk down the local economy!

About Bill Morris, Realtor

Many years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including almost 20 years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs. Learn more about my background and experience, my commitment to my clients, my profession, and to the real estate industry at



  1. Pingback: Austin Commercial Real Estate On The Way To Recovery « Bill Morris' Austin Real Estate Blog - January 7, 2010

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