WASHINGTON U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, in response to questions from a television anchor casting doubt on the validity of the latest jobless rate figures, said the idea it was manipulated is "ludicrous."
"I'm insulted when I hear that, because we have a very professional civil service organization. These are our best trained and most skilled individuals," she told CNBC.
"It's really ludicrous to hear that kind of statement."
Former General Electric Co CEO Jack Welch sent a tweet shortly after the Labor Department reported a sharp decline in the jobless rate to 7.8 percent saying: "Unbelievable jobs numbers ..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers."
(Reporting By Pedro da Costa; Editing by Vicki Allen)