New conspiracy theory: BLS cooked books to help…Romney!

Romney 2012
Romney 2012

We found out Friday that the national unemployment rate fell in September to 7.8 percent, the lowest rate since President Barack Obama took office.

Great news for American workers, but some wingnuts on the right said it was the result of a conspiracy to re-elect the president by bureaucrats at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today, Donald Trump joined that echo chamber, saying there was “a lot of monkey business.”

“I’m telling you in a month and a half from now, they will do a readjustment like has been happening for the last year and a half. They will do a readjustment and the number will be 8.2 or more,” Trump told Fox & Friends.

It turns out, however, that if anything, there’s a conspiracy to help Mitt Romney get elected!

In a little-noticed part of Friday’s report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that it had systematically undercounted jobs by 386,000 from April 2011 through March 2012.  That’s roughly 32,000 jobs per month, on average.

It means that the jobs picture looked WORSE than it actually was for the 11 months ending in March 2012 (and probably beyond), actually hurting President Obama’s chances for re-election!

Here’s an excellent chart from Mother Jones that illustrates the point:

But no, we don’t really think the BLS is conspiring to hurt Obama.

Here’s the deal: the agency relies on relatively small (and less accurate) surveys of businesses and goverment agencies for the monthly payroll surveys.  The BLS only gets better numbers after it examines tax records from companies across the country, a process takes about 10 months to complete.


New conspiracy theory: BLS cooked books to help...Romney!