Pethokoukis

Did the US Census Bureau really fake a jobs report to elect Obama? Some actual evidence would be nice

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The New York Post headline reads: “Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report.” And here is the gist from reporter-columnist John Crudele:

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

Specifically, Crudele mentions the employee fudging the data in the Philadelphia region (which somehow would have significantly distorted the national number). But in that September jobs report, the jobless rate for Pennsylvania actually rose:

The state’s jobless rate increased slightly in September as more people started job searches, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry said on Friday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 8.2 percent in September, up from 8.1 percent in August.

111913usat2 Indeed, the big drops that month were nowhere near the two regions — the Philly and New York area — where Census had a low success rate in its interviews, suggesting that employees may have “filled the gap with fake interviews”  (though the article assumes those fakes must have been in favor of Obama).

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And then there is this from Gallup, which would tend to support the Labor Department:

111913gallupExtraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

More from Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal …

Follow James Pethokoukis on Twitter at @JimPethokoukis, and AEIdeas at @AEIdeas.

9 thoughts on “Did the US Census Bureau really fake a jobs report to elect Obama? Some actual evidence would be nice

  1. Your first premise is wrong. The numbers could have been even worse but for the alleged manipulation.

    And while more evidence is also nice, the allegation that data was manipulated in order to benefit Obama reinforces those (like me) who think skepticism is in order when looking at everything the government publishes. Time after time, we’ve seen cases where supposedly neutral bureaucrats are not in fact neutral. And just like biased reporters can’t keep from twisting their stories in order to benefit those with whom they agree, I doubt biased bureaucrats can keep (even if they wanted) from twisting their reporting in ways that benefit their side.

  2. As noted on Twitter, those who voted Obama in probably don’t pay much attention to this sort of thing.

    That said, while evidence is good, this administration has lost the privilege of the benefit of the doubt.

  3. #1 And the Philadelphia region is the only one that was told by Census executives to make it up?

    #2 And LIBOR, Commodity Warehousing by Wall Street, Rating Agency ratings, FX, $JPM London Whale, Housing that never would go down 5% were all not manipulated?

    Please. Go sell the BS to people without a brain.

    • I see you can’t argue with the substance of author’s comments, so you just attack him and say “fraud must have occurred” because, well, you just want to believe it did.

  4. It’s an allegation.
    Or more to the point it’s ANOTHER allegation. Where there is smoke…

    Administrations set policy. While the President doesn’t set all the minutia he does set people in place who are expected to under his direction (or lack thereof). Few ever act alone without even passive approval in gov’t (it’s usually a policy of CYA – cover your a$$), so the question is – is this a single instance or a policy? Is it looked down upon or accepted by a nod and a wink? Between the IRS Scandal, Benghazi, Fast&Furious, etc. this looks like policy, and therefore no surprise if such an allegation like the others before them are shown to be true.

    • “Where there is smoke…”

      That’s exactly what papers like the Post are hoping their readers will say. They devote themselves to creating a mountain of allegations, each baseless on its own merits, and then readers are left with an overall impression of rampant wrongdoing. It’s actually a pretty effective strategy.

  5. As I have been saying, BLS (and in this case, Census) has been committing fraud with their unemployment reporting.

    The only problem with this revelation is that government will investigate government malfeasance – and government will find nothing wrong, especially Obama’s/Eric Holder’s government.

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