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

For The Autumnal Equinox, A Poem As Chilling As The Fall Weather

Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns' "How to Like It" — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

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