NY Post: The Census Bureau faked the 2012 election jobs report
Posted on 19-Nov-2013
Topics: Corruption in the Government
From The New York Post:
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.
“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.
Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation. Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.
Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.
Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.
By making up survey results — and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs — Buckmon’s actions could have lowered the jobless rate.
Buckmon said he filled out surveys for people he couldn’t reach by phone or who didn’t answer their doors.
But, Buckmon says, he was never told how to answer the questions about whether these nonexistent people were employed or not, looking for work, or have given up.
But people who know how the survey works say that simply by creating people and filling out surveys in their name would boost the number of folks reported as employed.
Census never publicly disclosed the falsification. Nor did it inform Labor that its data was tainted.
I hope the next stop will be Congress, since manipulation of data like this not only gives voters the wrong impression of the economy but also leads lawmakers, the Federal Reserve and companies to make uninformed decisions.
To cite just one instance, the Fed is targeting the curtailment of its so-called quantitative easing money-printing/bond-buying fiasco to the unemployment rate for which Census provided the false information.
So falsifying this would, in essence, have dire consequences for the country.
The falsification for employment numbers was suspected by many, but they were labeled as conspiracy theorists by the mainstream media, including New York Magazine:
President Obama sure caught a break today: The unemployment rate dove down to 7.8 percent — the first time it's gone below 8 percent since the start of Obama's presidency — on the strength of 114,000 jobs added in September and big upward revisions for July and August. But was it really a matter of good timing, or was it ... a conspiracy? Isn't it a little too convenient that the economy is, you know, improving? The highly respected (at least up until this morning) former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch (above), seems to think so. (Bloomberg reports that Welch's secretary says that "the retired CEO is the only one with access to the Twitter account and is now unavailable for the rest of the day in meetings.") But he's hardly alone. The unemployment-rate truthers are out in full force on Twitter this morning.
And The Atlantic:
The unemployment rate plunged to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level since Barack Obama took office in 2009. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics made big revisions to data from previous months, showing huge increases in the number of jobs being created over the last three months. Total employment from the "household survey" also showed an increase of 873,000 jobs last month, the biggest one-month jump since June of 1983.
Not only has the unemployment rate gone down, but the report also undercut one of the key criticisms of previous drops in the number—that it was because the "participation rate" went down. That rate has actually gone back up, which means unemployment is down because people are actually getting work, not because they've stopped looking. Public sector jobs also went up, as did the average number of hours worked per week.
This report looks so good for President Obama that conspiracy theorists are already alleging that the fix is in. And not just random anonymous cranks, but supposedly serious business people, like former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.
 "Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report", John Crudele, NY Post, 18-Nov-2013
 "Jack Welch and the Unemployment-Rate Truthers [Updated]", Dan Amira, New York Magazine, 5-Oct-2012
 "Unemployment Plummets to 7.8%", Dashiell Bennett, The Atlantic (The Wire), 5-Oct-2012