Fox News host Tucker Carlson shared wholly inaccurate and deceptive numbers on Thursday night to push a narrative that women are replacing men in the workforce and that is why the national economy is facing a labor shortage.
Devoting his show-opening monologue on Thursday to inflation and its root causes, Carlson largely placed the blame on the federal government pumping too much money into the economy via COVID-19 stimulus and increased unemployment benefits. That created a disincentive to work, he claimed, prompting people to quit their jobs or drop out of the labor force altogether.
Still, the fiercely anti-immigrant primetime host dismissed the notion of allowing more immigrants into the country to help fill the millions of open American jobs.
[President] Biden is on board,” he huffed. “He wants Democratic voters from foreign countries. What you are looking at is the perfect alignment of malignant motives. Expect the borders to stay open.”
Asking why fewer Americans were presently choosing to work, the Fox News star said it was “not a new trend” and that “our labor markets have been getting sicker for generations.” He then suggested a major problem is the increased participation of women in the workforce since 1950.
“This shows the labor force participation rate of American men,” Carlson declared, airing a graph showing the male rate. “What do you notice, the line goes straight down.”
Displaying the female graph, he added: “This is the labor force participation rate of women in America. That line moves in the opposite direction. As you can tell, for 70 years we’ve been losing men in the workforce.”
While the trend lines for men’s and women’s participation rates Carlson aired are accurate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the values on the y-axis of the graph showing the female rate had grossly incorrect numbers.
Both graphs’ y-axes showed the rates shifting from 65 percent to 90 percent. However, according to the BLS, the women’s rate should have started at 30 percent and ended at 65 percent. That’s because the participation rate for women has never been above 61 percent and was in the low 30s during the 1950s, while men’s was nearly 90 percent in the late 1940s and has gradually decreased since then.
In fact, despite the narrative that Carlson wove on Thursday night, the participation rate of men is still far higher than that of women.
In November, men were employed at a rate of 67.8 percent, which is a notch down from the February 2020 pre-pandemic level of 69.2 percent. The women’s rate, meanwhile, was at 56.2 percent in November, down from the pre-pandemic number of 57.8 percent. The female participation rate actually peaked in early 2020 at 60.3 percent and has been gradually moving down since.
“Many call this progress on the assumption that anything bad and degrading for men must be good for America, but it is not progress,” Carlson exclaimed after airing the graphs. “It’s a problem. The average man defines himself by his job.”
He continued: “Men and women are very different, extremely different. Society is built on their differences. Every society is. The thing about men is they kind of need to work. They tend to fall apart when they are unemployed.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.