Commerce Department study finds no evidence 2012 jobs data faked

WASHINGTON Thu May 1, 2014 10:18pm EDT

A man holds his briefcase while waiting in line during a job fair in Melville, New York July 19, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A man holds his briefcase while waiting in line during a job fair in Melville, New York July 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department found no evidence to support allegations that the monthly unemployment rate was manipulated before the 2012 presidential election, according to a report issued by the agency's office of inspector general on Thursday.

The department launched the probe last November after the New York Post reported that data used in the closely watched survey was faked in the final stretch of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, when the monthly unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives called the allegations "shocking" and sought documents and communications related to the collection of data for the Current Population Survey, which is used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the unemployment rate.

The Census Bureau rejected the allegations at the time and said it reported the claims to the Office of the Inspector General as soon as it learned of them.

The newspaper story, citing anonymous sources, said the Census Bureau had caught an employee faking data for the survey in 2010, and the practice went beyond one employee and had continued. It said the employees had faked interviews to meet monthly quotas for the survey.

In its report, the Office of Inspector General said it "exhaustively investigated these allegations and found them to be unsubstantiated.

"However, during our review, we identified several areas where the Census Bureau could implement policies and improve processes to better prevent survey data falsification," it added.

Among its recommendations were implementing a formal policy that prohibits any employees suspected of falsifying information from collecting data during the investigative process, and ensuring that supervisors have all available tools to detect and prevent such fraud.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Ken Wills)

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Comments (7)
pyradius wrote:
Right-wing rag, citing ‘anonymous’ sources claims the unemployment numbers are cooked. Republicans in Congress cry wolf and demand an investigation. Investigation turns up nothing whatsoever.

All these ‘investigations’ into trumped up and phony charges come a cost to the taxpayer and wastes valuable time and resources.

Just say no to Rupert Murdoch and Republicans throwing our money away on fear-mongering and propaganda.

May 02, 2014 1:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lysergic wrote:
HERE IS HOW THE REPUBS DO IT. SOME REPUBLICAN LIARS, USUALLY MATT DRUDGE, MAKE UP A STORY. IT IS THEN TALKED ABOUT ON RUSH, LEVIN, HANNITY, AND BECK. THEN IT IS TALKED ABOUT ALL DAY ON ALL ” THE LITTLE LIMBAUGHS” AS RUSH CALLS THE LOCAL RIGHT WING PROPAGANDISTS. THEN FOX REPORTS THAT” PEOPLE ARE SAYING THIS IS TRUE. THEN ALL THE LIARS SAY ” YOU CAN’T TRUST THE LAME STREAM MEDIA.” THEN ALL THE BAGGERS, WHO ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS, RANT ABOUT THIS ON BLOGS FOREVER.

May 02, 2014 7:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
willich6 wrote:
All current Fed Govt depts take their ‘marching orders’ from the whitehouse – HHS, IRS, DoJ, DoS, and yes, even Commerce..
To say categorically, without any doubt, that Commerce did not ‘fudge’ unemployment reporting at the request of the wh during the 2012 election, is un-true because anyone commenting here has just an Opinion – not Fact.
The Fact that the Commerce dept ‘investigated itself’ and found ‘itself’ Not Guilty of tampering, is ludicrous and not proof of anything.. An independent audit of the findings is needed. This is why obama’s job approval rates are at historical lows.

Who can believe anything that this administration says now that it has been caught in so many repeated lies – on so many issues – from so many depts and agencies. No wonder our Allies distrust obama and our enemies openly mock him..
So go ahead and act with ‘outrage’ – putting your responses in all Caps – demeaning loyal Americans – dismissing valid concerns – it’s just more proof that it’s time for change – and Nov is coming..

May 02, 2014 8:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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