Fri October 5, 2012
Wicker Questions Jobs Report
Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker joined a chorus of conservatives who are claiming the September jobs report was manipulated by President Obama for political purposes.
The report compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistic was released Friday and shows the jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent, which is the lowest since January 2009. According to the report, the U.S. economy added 114,000 jobs last month while other figures were revised from July and August to add another 86,000 jobs.
But former GE CEO Jack Welch and Florida Congressman Allen West quickly denounced the report and accused Mr. Obama of massaging the figures.
In a message to supporters, Wicker said he is "sick of political games" being played by the president and his opponent, Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth.
"The math is simple and the jobs numbers just don’t add up. We deserve better than politicians "revising" numbers, solely concerned about their own re-election. We need to fix the problem of Washington politicians. I will not compromise my integrity to win an election. We need to govern for future generations, and fix this mess Yarmuth helped create," he says.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the report was disappointing and the recovery is not good enough. But the Romney campaign has stayed away from the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration manipulated the figures, as have other GOP thinkers and economists.
From USA Today:
Tony Fratto, a former spokesman for President George W. Bush, tweeted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics "is not manipulating data. Evidence of such would be a scandal of enormous proportions & loss of credibility."
In another tweet, Fratto said: "Stop with the dumb conspiracy theories. Good grief."
Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President Obama, told Bloomberg Television: "No serious person would question the integrity of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These numbers are put together by career employees to use the same process every month.I think those comments are irresponsible."
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis called the accusation an insult, telling CNBC: "I have the highest regard for our professionals that do the calculations ... They are trained economists."
Wicker, who is an accountant, also questioned the math used by the BLS and said the numbers do not add up.
"How do we account for the other 342,000 people who didn’t find a job? These are people who gave up looking for a job," says Wicker. "Disheartened, they fell from the ranks of the unemployed, not because they found a job, but because there wasn’t a job to be had."
The president's Republican critics point out that the number of people looking for work has plummeted since Mr. Obama took office, which is part of the reason why unemployment has decreased. But a review of the data shows those in the labor force actually inched up in the September report.