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/.

NPR

Not My Job: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Quizzed On Downhill Cheese Races

If you think downhill ski racing is dangerous, then you've never seen the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Races, in which competitors hurl their bodies down a steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese.
NPR

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Palm oil growers are setting their sights on Africa as they amp up production. More than half of the land that's been set aside for plantations in Africa overlaps with ape habitats, researchers say.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Forget the Forbes Celebrity 100. This is the Friskies 50 — the new definitive guide of the most influential cats on the Internet. The list is based on a measure of the cats' social media reach.

Leave a Comment

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