When the jobs report came out the first week of October 2012, showing a drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.8%, many people thought the numbers were fudged to put Barack Obama in a more favorable light. One of those skeptics was former GE CEO Jack Welch believed, who posted the tweet shown.
What followed was an all-out war between Welch and Time Warner (Fortune, CNN, Money), which not only disputed his claim but personally attacked him in a Fortune.com story titled “Welch’s record as a job destroyer.”
Welch wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal defending his assumptions in re the unemployment numbers and his own record.
Now a story released by the New York Post shows Jack Welch was right, Time Warner was wrong, and that the Obama administration lied. According to the report, that surprising 0.3% drop was based on manipulated numbers, and the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.
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[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.
Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.
So Philadelphia made up the interviews it needed.
‘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.
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.
Census never publicly admitted that the numbers were bogus, nor did they tell the Department of Labor.
Census appears to have looked into only a handful of instances of falsification by Buckmon, although more than a dozen were reported, according to internal documents.
In one document from the probe, Program Coordinator Joal Crosby was ask in 2010, ‘Why was the suspected … possible data falsification on all (underscored) other survey work for which data falsification was suspected not investigated by the region?’
On one document seen by The Post, Crosby hand-wrote the answer: ‘Unable to determine why an investigation was not done for CPS,’ or the Current Population Survey — the official name for the unemployment report.
Looks like this is another Obama scandal and another job for Chairman Issa.