On Jobs Numbers, BLS Vows There’s No Conspiracy
On the heels of a positive September jobs report, which showed a 0.3 percent drop in the national unemployment rate, prominent conservative Jack Welch and some others on the right are questioning the source of the numbers, suggesting on Twitter that the Obama team had in some way manipulated the data to their advantage.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” wrote Welch, the former chairman and CEO of General Electric, shortly after the September jobs report was released.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham piled on in a Twitter message of her own: “Jobs #s from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are total pro-Obama propaganda—labor force participation rate at 30-yr low. Abysmal!”
And Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., posted on Facebook his belief that “Chicago style politics is at work” with regard to a “manipulation” of the data.
Welch was not available to comment on the nature of his Twitter message or to offer up an explanation for its basis — according to someone in his office, he posted his message before walking into a meeting without his phone — but the Bureau of Labor Statistics and others immediately knocked down his and other similar comments as factually unsound.
In an appearance on CNBC, Solis called Welch’s comments “ludicrous.”
“BLS is not manipulating data. Evidence of such would be a scandal of enormous proportions & loss of credibility,” Tony Fratto, former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter.
Steve Haugen, an economist at the BLS who has been involved in the process of analyzing jobs data for nearly 30 years, flatly dismissed the idea that there was any way the White House or Obama campaign could have had a hand in how the numbers turned out.