You remember the famous “Chicago Guys” jobs report, right?
That was in September 2012, shortly before the 2012 Presidential election, when the unemployment rate surprisingly dropped from 8.1% to 7.8%, prompting former GE CEO Jack Welch to hint on Twitter that the number was the product of manipulation by The White House.
Now people are talking about that again.
John Crudele at The New York Post has a report titled ‘Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report’.
The allegation is interesting. It claims that surveyers conducting the Household Survey — which is what establishes the unemployment rate — were pressured to fake surveys in order to fill in data gaps, when it was difficult to get adequate response rates on its surveys.
It also claims that instances of bad data being filled in is something that was going back to 2010 — in other words, this is not a story about the infamous September 2012 jobs report. There’s also no allegation here that there was pressure to manipulate the number up. The only claim is that there was pressure to fill in gaps where there was a shortfall in the number of survey respondents.
There may be more information to come to light on this, but at least this particular report doesn’t jibe with Welch’s claim that something unusual happened with the September report to artificially push the number down.
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 Labour’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.
Labour requires Census to achieve a 90 per cent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.
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.
Read the whole thing. We’re looking forward to hearing more from the Census department.