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A congressional investigation has been launched into allegations that the United States Census Bureau falsified employment numbers, including in the months just before the last presidential election.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent a letter today to the director the Census Bureau, citing a New York Post story claiming that employment data was fabricated. The report claims the deception took place first in 2010 and then escalated in the run up to the 2012 election. That includes the unemployment rate put out just before the election when it dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.
President Obama repeatedly touted that number on the campaign trail, telling the American people the unemployment rate had fallen to its lowest level since he took office.
Officials to investigate claims Census Bureau manipulated jobs figures
The US Department of Labor has launched an investigation into reports that some of the numbers in the government’s monthly jobs report – one of the world’s closest watched economic indicators – may have been fabricated in the run-up to the 2012 election.
According to The New York Post, the issues center around the politically charged release of job figures towards end the 2012 presidential campaign. From August to September that year, the unemployment rate fell sharply, from 8.1% to 7.8%.
The new rate was a 44-month low, the lowest level since Barack Obama first took office, and a major fillip to his re-election campaign. The numbers, according to the Post, were manipulated.
The Department of Labor, which is responsible for publishing unemployment data, confirmed to the Guardian that an investigation into the affair was now under way. "We have contacted the Census Bureau about this, and it has been referred to the Commerce Department inspector general," said spokesman Steve Barr.
He said it was "premature at this stage" to discuss whether the Bureau of Labor Statistics would have to restate jobs numbers for the period in question.
A spokeswoman for the Census Bureau was not immediately available for comment.
People are just unbelievable. First blowjob-gate, now census-gate? Why not something that matters like, spitting-on-the-constitution-gate. Allowed to assassinate americans now. Indefinate detention. Spying everywhere. Ring a bell?
Why does congress never seem to get it right, and go after something that matters? Banging interns, fudging numbers... As if those idiots who voted for the schmuck would have even paid attention to those numbers in the first place? Yeah right....
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm going to tell you a story and I want you to tell me if I've engaged 16 people in a conspiracy to defraud the public in order to win a Presidential election.
White House Counsel Oliver Babish: [Looks down at his broken dictaphone, picks up his gavel and destroys it] Okay.