A new report indicates that the impressive upturn in unemployment just in time for the 2012 presidential election may have been falsified.
The unemployment rate reportedly fell from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September 2012 during the heat of the election cycle. The New York Post reported that the Census caught at least one employee fabricating evidence during the 2010 survey when he was not able to gather enough actual data, skewing the results and the general outlook on the country’s joblessness.
Census employee Julius Buckmon was caught making up results when he didn’t reach the necessary 90% response quota in the New York and Philadelphia regions.
Employees are required to reach nine out of 10 households for the results to be considered accurate. When not enough people participated in the survey by phone or in person, Buckmon simply filled out the Philadelphia surveys himself—giving those “people” jobs.
Buckmon told the Post in an interview that his superiors told him to fabricate results to fill in the gaps.
“It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon said.
He in turn completed three times as many “interviews” as other employees.
“He’s not the only one,” said the anonymous source who tipped the Post. That source said he would be willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census only investigated a few out of a more than a dozen reported falsifications. It publicly disclosed nothing, nor did it inform the Department of Labor.
“Yes, absolutely they should have told us,” said a Labor spokesman. “It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection.”
According to The Blaze, criticism of the Bureau’s unemployment figures garnered skepticism from the business community at the time.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers. These Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers,” General Electric CEO Jack Welch tweeted in Oct. 5, 2012.
Looks like it may have been laziness and pressure on the job —and not politics — that led to fudged Census figures.