MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Republicans are crying “foul” over new jobs numbers showing the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8 percent – the lowest rate since President Obama took office.
They are claiming that the figures were manipulated for political reasons.
A new survey from Public Policy Polling Monday found that 61 percent of Republicans in Minnesota think the Bureau of Labor Statistics is manipulating the unemployment numbers to help President Obama.
That includes Republican US Senate candidate Kurt Bills, whose campaign told WCCO today Bills believes the numbers are “suspicious”.
It all started with a tweet from business icon Jack Welch.
“These Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch wrote on Twitter.
And it’s still coming, from the Donald, on “FOX and Friends” Monday. When asked if the numbers where manipulated, Donald Trump nodded.
“I do. I do. I think there’s a lot of monkey business. And I’m telling you, in a month and a half they will do a readjustment like they have been doing for the last year and a half,” Trump said.
That’s a lot of MISINFORMATION in one 8-second sound bite.
And it doesn’t reflect the reality of how the employment numbers are arrived at.
Since 1940, the Labor Department has conducted two monthly surveys:
• A household survey, which produces the unemployment rate.
• And an employer survey, which measures how many jobs were gained.
This is where the 2012 jobs conspiracy was born.
For the conspiracy to work:
• The Obama administration would have to access encrypted data.
• Manipulate nearly 100,000 answers.
• And do both of the above within a very short period of time, perhaps hours.
That’s why Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who oversees the Bureau of Labor Statistics, appeared offended when she was confronted with that question on CNBC.
“I’m insulted when I hear that. It’s ludicrous to hear that kind of statement,” Solis said.
That’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.
The Obama administration might be able to say the economy is doing better. But it does not mean the economy is doing well.
Of the 873,000 job gains last month, 600,000 were part time jobs. That includes workers whose hours or pay are reduced, or who can’t find full time work.
Here are some of the sources used for this Reality Check: