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I have been saying for ages on Coffee and Markets that the unemployment numbers have to involve some political manipulation as key reports tend to help the president at just the right time. Now proof has emerged that the Obama administration did in fact fudged some numbers to their advantage.
At the time on the podcast, Francis Cianfrocca and I discussed just how ridiculous these numbers seemed when compared to the trend we had seen in the previous months. I entitled the episode, "Obama's Perfectly Timed and Absolutely Miraculous Jobs Report Makes No Sense." And it didn't.
My initial analysis from that show:
I want to call total bull**** on these jobs numbers…
If you look at these numbers, there is no way they make sense. The household numbers supposedly went up 873,000, which is the largest jump since 1983. That worked out to lowering the unemployment rate, coincidentally, to 7.8% which is just below the 7.9% it was when Barack Obama took office in January of 2009.
I think it is ridiculous to say that these numbers are anything but cooked because this is exactly what he needed at exactly the moment for this campaign to rebound. This is exactly what he needed and I don't think there is any way in the world that these numbers are accurate.
I wasn't the only one who thought so. Former Chairman of GE and a legend in the business world, Jack Welch agreed with me.
Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
Turns out we were both right.
A story in the NY Post last night found that the Census Bureau, which is contracted by the Department of Labor to do the surveying for the household section of the unemployment report, admitted to falsifying data in the report.
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.
“It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told me.
According to the article, an employee at the Census Bureau was directed from his higher ups to fabricate data to make the report look good for the administration heading into the election. This wasn't the first time this had happened either. The Post was told that 14 instances of data falsification were reported. Fourteen. Only four were investigated.
For those who doubted that even Chicago-style politics wouldn't be so bold as to manipulate unemployment numbers to their advantage, here is the proof you underestimated this administration. As I have been saying on Coffee and Markets for a very long time, this administration will do anything, anything to "win" and even manipulating employment numbers isn't out of bounds.
Sometimes I hate to be right.