Behind the Headlines Video
[For more background on this topic see Behind the Headlines segments of February 9, 2012 and October 9, 2012.]
We've been closely scrutinizing the employment data issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There was a time when no one questioned the integrity of BLS.
But in 2012 funny things began to happen. In January more than one and a quarter million workers were removed from the labor force. It had the effect of reducing the unemployment rate.
[Economists have observed that the shrinking labor force rate distorts the unemployment rate making it appear smaller than it really is.]
Many have questioned the honesty of the BLS data. This summer, the Gallup polling organization, which interviews 30,000 adults each month, noted that BLS reports didn't match real world data.
The 7.8% unemployment rate for September was completely unbelievable. In a slowing economy we were told September had the second largest employment gains in US history. Unbelievable.
[The Bureau of Labor Statistics has long enjoyed a reputation as a professional and non-partisan agency. Still, it must be noted that two BLS economists are donors to Barack Obama's campaign.]
A couple of weeks ago, BLS reported weekly jobless claims had fallen to 339,000, the lowest level since February 2008. Another unbelievable claim.
After questions were raised, it was learned the jobless numbers from California were wrong. Instead of a five year low, jobless claims spiked to 388,000 the highest level since last spring.
Maybe a coincidence, but the official in charge of the California numbers is a maxed-out donor to the Obama campaign.
Next week, BLS issues the last report before Election Day. It's doubtful anyone will take the numbers seriously.
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