31 December 2009

The Spin Economy

Spin is bullshit.

Plain and simple.

In this Canadian Press story, much is made of the fact that 29% of employers in a survey by careerbuilder.ca said they planned to hire next year.

Logically, that means that the overwhelming majority – 71% – planned to keep things just as they are or reduce staff.  And since the story says only nine percent of those surveyed planned to decrease their staff levels, that means that – you guessed it - twice as many of those surveyed weren’t planning to do anything with their staffing at all next year as indicated they’d be hiring.

So where in the name of merciful heavens did Canadian Press get the idea this means the survey is “adding optimism” that the year-long job doldrums are over?

They got it from the news release, of course written by a company which has a vested interest in hyping the crap out of expectations for a boost in hiring.

And Canadian Press isn’t alone.  Others have picked up the pure, undiluted bullshit from careerbuilder.ca and its American parent.  It’s all in line with the line coming from different sources for about a year now that the recession was over and the recovery was underway.  Unfortunately for the purveyors of all this nonsense, repeating the same crap over and over doesn’t actually do anything least of all make the untrue suddenly and miraculously true.

What’s really more interesting in all this is not that organizations with a vested interest in hyping the crap out of something – like government for example – actually hypes the crap out of something.  Nope.  Notice instead that even the venerated Canadian Press  is now being affected by the same problems that have afflicted other news outlets.  Reporters and editors aren’t suddenly innumerate. They just don’t have the ability any more to weed out bullshit, even when the bullshit is so patently obvious as in this news release.

If only 29% of employers plan to hire next year – or 20% in the United States version of the survey – rest assured of one thing: the recession ain’t over.