Bad news about U.S. labor? Just a matter of perspective!

If you’re a reporter and have a certain perspective on life, don’t let that get in your way of telling a good story. At least that’s my read on this post on the New York Times Economix blog, titled “Who Belongs to Unions?“.

First, you need to know that many people just read the titles of news stories. If you include a graphic with the story, like the Times does in this post (the same graphic I included above), it’s pretty much assured that not many people will read further. In this case the post title doesn’t really reflect the interesting story of these labor statistics, a story that’s outlined by the source of the graphic, The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the BLS story, titled “Union membership declines in 2009“, the important information is that … drum roll, please … union membership declined by 3/4 of a million people in 2009. The NY Times took an important story and turned it into a trivia question by ignoring the job loses and looking at what sectors had union jobs.