On Friday October 5, 2012, the BLS released what was arguably the most important report of Obama's first term: the final jobs number, and unemployment rate before the November 2012 presidential election. As so many predicted, it "plunged" from 8.1% to 7.8% allowing the president to conduct countless teleprompted speeches praising the success of his economic recovery. It also served as the basis for the infamous Jack Welch tweet: "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers" and prompted the pro-Obama media to quickly brand all those who questioned it as conspiracy theorists. The Atlantic did perhaps the most exemplary job in its task to discredit the "random anonymous cranks" who challenged the bullshit spewed by the administration's manipulative economic data reporting apparatus. From The Atlantic's Unemployment Plummets To 7.8%.
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.
Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
No, there's nothing at all curious about the last jobs report diving to 7.8% unemployment before the election.— Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn) October 5, 2012
Total data manipulation. Such a farce— zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 5, 2012
Rick Santelli of CNBC, noting that the rate has dropped below the magical number of 8 percent, said, "You can let America decide how they got there." When one side is convinced that something smells rotten, you know it's good news for the other guy.
As we noted his comment at the time...
"the current trend of these [jobs] numbers is so different from the current trend of any other numbers. If you were looking for conspiracies (and I'm not), you only need to change a certain number."
Of course, who cares if the "conspiracy theories" were substantiated by actual data. Such as the following from the same day:
An Odd Arima-X-12 Statistical Aberration?
Here's a peculiar statistical aberration:
- Household Survey people employed: +873,000 (source)
- Part-time jobs for economic reasons: +582,000 (source)
-> 582,000 divided by 873,000 = 0.666666666666*
Aka: precisely two thirds. Whatever are the odds... Goalseeking much Arima-X-12?
Or this also from the same day:
Reason For Today's Unemployment Rate Plunge: Part-Time Jobs For Economic Reasons Surge Most Since QE1 Announcement
We already noted the absolutely stunning surge in reported Household Survey jobs which "added" 873,000 jobs, or the most since 2003 and the second most in the past decade, which was just a little bit off the Household Survey used in the monthly NFP jobs changes, which came at 114,000, or about 8 times less. But what was the reason for this epic jump in Household survey jobs? Simple, and those who have read our series on America's transition to a part-time worker society know the answer. The reason is that the number of part-time people employed for economic reasons soared by 582,000 to 8,613,000, the most since October 2011, and the largest one month jump since February 2009, when "restoring" confidence in the economy was all the rage... and just before the Fed announced the full blown QE1 in March of 2009. Odd symmetry.
So putting it all together, what does this mean for the true state of the US economy? Recall back in September one of our Charts of the Day was the number of Unemployed and Underemployed for the month of August, which was 25.8 million. Readers may be surprised to learn that when putting it all together, in September this number increased to 26.2 million.
Or this also from the same day:
The Strangest Number In Today's Jobs Number
While we already presented the explanation for the dramatic drop in today's unemployment report (almost entirely driven by the surge in part-time jobs for economic reasons, hardly a thing to be proud of as more and more full time jobs, especially those on Wall Street, are a thing of the past, while the transition to a part-time worker society has been documented extensively in the past here), there is another number that is by far the most perplexing in today's NFP dataset: that showing the employment of workers in the 20-24 year age category (both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted). See if you can spot the outlier in the chart below.
And many more other such reports posted on this site on the same day, alleging fabrication which as it turns out courtesy of the just released stunning disclosure by the Post, were absolutely spot on since the number was, you guessed it, manipulated.
The Post's John Crudele reveals the details on a data manipulation scandal, which we exposed back in October 2012, but this time with the actual "dirty details" that has the potential to be so big, Obama will need to start another YouTube-fabricated, false flag war just to distract from this latest scandal.
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.
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.
Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.
“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.
Census, under contract from the Labor Department, conducts the household survey used to tabulate the unemployment rate.
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.
“Yes, absolutely they should have told us,” said a Labor spokesman. “It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection.”
* * *
During the 2010 Census report — an enormous and costly survey of the entire country that goes on for a full year — I suspected (and wrote in a number of columns) that Census was inexplicably hiring and firing temporary workers.
I suspected that this turnover of employees was being done purposely to boost the number of new jobs being report each month. (The Labor Department does not use the Census Bureau for its other monthly survey of new jobs — commonly referred to as the Establishment Survey.)
Last week I offered to give all the information I have, including names, dates and charges to Labor’s inspector general.
I’m waiting to hear back from Labor.
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.
Don't hold your breath: the reason is that this particular instance manipulation is merely the tip of the iceberg - since virtually all data out of the BLS is manipulated and fabricated, as we report each and every month, the last thing the legislative and certainly the executive want is to offer the general public a glimpse of just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Because it goes very, very deep.
One can only hope this forces at least some more people to wake up about the sad farce this once great nation has devolved to in its quest to destroy the middle class.
The only real good news, as noted above, is that yet another conspiracy theory is forever cast into the void, and going forward the only thing the random, but manipulated, number generator out of the Bureau Of Lies And Subterfuge will be good for, is to prod the just as pathetic HFT algos into a buying frenzy when month after month the economy is painted with rosy brushes, even as millions forever drop out of the labor force, never to return.