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Bill Talbert Distorts Job Growth Stats For Years

August 12, 2011 By Gus in Miami: Local NewsMiami: Travel News  | 11 Comments


Why does Bill Talbert, the president of Miami’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, find it necessary to use a photoshopped image of the Miami skyline as the masthead for his blog? Is doctoring up a picture of our beautiful city really necessary to sell the destination? I don’t think so. As is stands, Wikipedia ranks Miami as having the third most impressive skyline in the United States. Why fake it?

I could live with the cheesy reflection of the clouds in the water, but let’s be real, there is no way Brickell is that close to Fisher Island. Google Maps calculates the distance is 2.5 miles.


But The Photoshopped Image Isn’t The Worst Thing—Bill Talbert’s Job Growth Stats Are Even More Misleading

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained about Bill Talbert deceiving the visitors. In January 2010, I brought to light how the employment statistics he was publishing on his blog were not adding up:

On the same day Matt Meltzer and Miami Herald published stories about the job turnout at Chik-Fil-A (the fast food restaurant received over 6000 applications for 65 jobs), Bill Talbert, President and CEO of the GMCVB, wrote a 59-word blog post how jobs remain solid in the Hospitality Industry.

Sadly, my concerns, back then, were not heard, because Mr. Talbert is still publishing the same misleading employment information, without backing it up with any facts. This is a screenshot from a recent press release:


Bill Talbert’s press release was posted on the same day CBS News published a story about how Miami’s unemployment rate is higher that Detroit’s:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the month of June, the metropolitan area of Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall had the highest jobless rate of any of the 11 largest metropolitan areas measured. The BLS said the Miami metro area had a jobless rate of 13.9 percent, higher than Detroit.

While Mr. Talbert states that Miami’s employment rate is increasing, he does not address the fact that we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States.

Simply Put, His Math Does Not Add Up

Let’s all take a closer look at the employment figures from the press release above, dated August 3, 2011.

... Mr. Talbert states that in June 2010, 106,300 were employed in Greater Miami’s Leisure and Hospitality sector. However, in the press release below, dated June 28, 2010, he contradicts himself by saying, 102,600 people were employed during the same period of 2010:


The Contradictions Don’t Stop There

In the press release above, dated June 28, 2010, Mr Talbert contradicts himself, once again, by saying 103,300 people were employed in 2009, yet in the press release below, dated August 24, 2009, it states that 101,700 people were employed:


Which Employment Figure Is Correct?

I don’t believe Mr. Talbert is purposely trying to deceive us, but it’s obvious whoever is writing these press releases are not checking the facts.

How will visitors get a true picture of Miami if all they’re given is misleading statistics and photoshopped images of the city?

I probably wouldn’t complain so loudly, if so many people didn’t ask us for our advice about finding a job and moving here.

What do you think? Am I being overly nit-picky? It’s just a discrepancy of 5,300 jobs.

Or should mistakes like this be pointed out and fixed?

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Travel News,

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

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11 Comments on

"Bill Talbert Distorts Job Growth Stats For Years"

Michelle says:

Great article, Gus! I think some may think you are being nit-picky but honestly, they don’t hear from the people that are thinking of packing up and moving to Miami because the growth of jobs is so great ~ NOT!

A lower employment rate than Detroit is a serious issue. I appreciate you pointing out the discrepancies. The difference is, they get paid to try to make the city look better than it is; we keep it real smile

Posted on 08/12/2011 at 8:45 AM

Blackford Oakes says:

One reason I like this site is we got plenty of Sgt Joe Friday’s walking the Miami beat, just telling it like it is.
Debate may arise because of differing opinions, but it’s always from the realistic perception of the contributor.

Miami gets it’s fair share of washed up bodies and cops running over pedrestrians on ATV’s. This site doesn’t sugar coat those realities, while at the same time, has open discussions about the positive attributes of The Magic City.

Posted on 08/12/2011 at 2:20 PM

Doug says:

I guess it’s in the nature of a tourist bureau to try to make things look nicer than they are.  But I’m very glad that Miami Beach 411 is here to set the record straight!

Posted on 08/13/2011 at 11:11 AM

Blackford Oakes says:

My reality is ugly cranes from Miami’s port flltering my view of Fisher Island from Brickell. Those seem to have disappeared via photo shop.

If the Tourist Bureau wants to carpet bomb them to oblivion, They’ll have my blessing.

Posted on 08/13/2011 at 2:29 PM

coach says:

Here’s another one for you. There is a notice on the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau calendar page that says, “Due to time and space considerations, fundraising events cannot be included in the calendar.” So, they are not willing to even offer that little support to the organizations who work diligently to make this city great.

Seriously, how much more computing power does it take to list those extra events?

Posted on 08/13/2011 at 3:05 PM

Christy says:

Photoshopping a picture of Miami is completely unnecessary-there are so many beautiful images of the city. To Mr. Talbert’s defense, he cites “Miami’s leisure and hospitality jobs have increased”, he never mentions employment in Miami overall. It seems hard to keep track of the exact number of hospitality jobs anyway, so maybe that’s why he gets away with inflating the numbers. I can say I have applied for hospitality positions and there were an overwhelming number of people applying along with me, so I strongly disagree there are tons of jobs available. But why does he feel the need to falsely inflate jobs in the hospitality industry? With his position isn’t he just supposed to be promoting tourism?

Posted on 08/14/2011 at 12:27 PM

Gus says:

Blackford, good eye spotting the missing cranes. Bill Cooke was inspired by your comment and titled a funny blog post in response to what you said:

And one sharp-eyed reader of Gus’ post also notes that Talbert has gone so far as to Photoshop the Port of Miami cranes out of his blog’s masthead image.

Bill Talbert loves Miami…but why does he hate the cranes?

Coach, I can’t think of a reason why the GMCVB would stop listing fundraising events, aside from them not being members of their association.

I really hope more people start asking questions.

Posted on 08/14/2011 at 2:05 PM

bill says:

Thanks Gus. This guy has been operating with almost no scrutiny for years. Hopefully someone will take a closer look at GMVCB!

Posted on 08/14/2011 at 2:56 PM

GandJ says:

Great article, Gus!  Blackford - Nice eye on catching the missing portainer cranes.  It’s ironic that Talbert, who praises Miami’s job market, photoshops out one of Miami’s big sources of employment; ... it’s container port.

Posted on 08/15/2011 at 10:53 AM

Maria de los Angeles says:

I think they were inspired by Miami CSI to make Miami not look like Miami at all!  Like when Horatio Cane drives from South Beach to the Everglades in ten minutes. They could have gotten away with a collage but this image is just laughable. 

The blogs are very difficult to locate on the main page of the GMVCB website, which I find interesting.  When I went to the main website, the blogs were not prominently featured.  At least it was hard for my eye to find the links.

The main blog uses the same image as Talbert’s blog, but in a wider format.  On their blogroll, there is a link there to Soul of Miami, incidentally, just above a link to Talbert’s blog.

I think Miami Beach 411 is the only true “Miami see it like a native” travel website ... could I have Talbert’s salary? I do A LOT to promote Miami! grin

Posted on 08/15/2011 at 11:12 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Looks to me like Ke$ha is writing this guy’s blog posts.

Bleak employment numbers, though. Can we PLEASE start showing those to all the “How hard is it to find a job” questioners? Pretty f-ing hard, guys, Pretty effing hard.

Posted on 08/18/2011 at 2:17 PM

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