You might get confused if you walked past a news stand and saw the business sections of the The Daily Advertiser and The Advocate side by side. The former has a story on the right rail under the glum headline “Local jobless rate rises.” The more sanguine Advocate says in its main biz story above the fold, “Lafayette area gains jobs.”

So which is it? Both. The Advertiser’s story compares employment in Lafayette from December 2010 to January, a monthlong period when the employment rate typically drops as Christmas retail jobs dry up. The Advocate story, on the other hand, compares January 2010 to January 2011.

It's also important to keep in mind that you can have an increase in jobs and an increase in the number of people looking for jobs.

Fortunately, news stands have gone the way of the rotary phone, so no threat of confusion anyway.

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