Guest Column: The BLS and that 7.8% unemployment rate
On Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shocked the world of business, finance and economics by declaring that unemployment in September fell to 7.8% from its August level of 8.1%. Coming just a month before the Nov. 6 Presidential election, this dubious finding gave rise to widespread rumors and even accusations of collusion between the Obama campaign and the Bureau.
It is highly unlikely that the President’s men conspired with Bureau officials or employees to invent or alter employment data. The Obama campaign would have too little to gain relative to its potential loss. A 0.3% fall in the unemployment rate hardly delivered a passkey to the Oval Office, but proof of a collusive conspiracy would doom Obama’s chances - even if undiscovered until after the election.
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