Labor Secretary Says Talk Of Fudged Jobless Numbers Is Insulting | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Labor Secretary Says Talk Of Fudged Jobless Numbers Is Insulting

The news that the nation's jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August immediately led some of President Obama's critics to charge the the books had been cooked to help his reelection campaign.

"Unbelievable jobs numbers," tweeted former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. "These Chicago guys [the Obama campaign] will do anything ... can't debate so change numbers."

On CNBC, Tea Party favorite Rick Santelli declared that "I told you they'd get it under 8 percent — they did!"

Conservative commentator Monica Crowley tweeted about an "October surprise: 43 consecutive months of above 8% unemployment, & 1 month before election, the rate miraculously drops to 7.8%. Ahem."

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has had a chance to respond to such talk: "I'm insulted when I hear that, because we have a very professional civil service," she said on CNBC. "I have the highest regard for our professionals that do the calculations at the (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They are trained economists."

At another point she called the charges "ludicrous."

Our colleagues at Planet Money have previously reported about the lengths BLS goes to in an effort to keep its work secret and away from outside influence.

This isn't the last jobs report before the Nov. 6 election. October's figures are due on Nov. 2. Watch for more fireworks then.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, March 2, 2015

Virginia band Avers comes to D.C. this week for a pop performance at the Black Cat. 

NPR

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through 'Adopt A Cow'

The cheeses of the Italian Alps are prized for their flavor. But the tradition of cheese-making here is dying off. Now remaining farmers are banding together around an unusual adoption program.
NPR

Netanyahu In Washington For Controversial Speech To Congress

"The move has created bad blood between Netanyahu and Obama, and relations between the two countries have suffered," NPR's Jackie Northam reports.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.