On Monday, links to this story started showing up in my Facebook newsfeed. Well, links to stories about that story, all of them from right wing blogs, started showing up, all of them declaring that Obama had faked the jobs numbers for September, 2012, just before the election. A cursory glance at the original source story showed that this is almost certainly nonsense.
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.
There are 2200 people involved in compiling the household employment survey every month, reaching 60,000 households. Those 2200 people are career employees, not political appointees. A single one was apparently caught faking his data two years before this allegedly suspect report (and fired long before that report came out). This isn’t just a weak story, it’s a ridiculous one. There is no “there” there, which hasn’t stopped the right wing media from exploding with rage at a story without a shred of substance.