Census Bureau

Yet another scandal: Census Bureau faked unemployment data to help get Obama re-elected

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Obama re-election, fake unemployment data, Census Bureau

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(NaturalNews) A little-discussed element regarding the various and sundry scandals committed during the Obama years is that many of the agencies committing breaches of the public's trust are filled with bureaucrats who have the same statist, left-leaning political mindset as the president. If you doubt that, ask yourself this question: How many federal agencies bent rules, ignored policy and disregarded the law to help any Republican president get elected?

Newly released information regarding the behavior of some Census Bureau officials make that agency the second one behind the Internal Revenue Service to lie, cheat or abuse the rules in order to help Barack Obama stay in the White House.

According to a report by The New York Post:

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply - raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline - from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September - might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Two years before the 2012 elections, the Census Bureau caught an employee falsifying data that was used for the unemployment report - one of the most closely-watched measures of the economy and one that is vitally important for any White House touting its economic record as part of a reelection strategy.

'He's not the only one'

The Post, quoting a "knowledgeable source," said that the deception involved went well beyond the single employee, and that it escalated at the time of reelection in 2012 and is continuing today.

"He's not the only one," the source told the paper. The source reportedly "asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked," the paper said.

Julius Buckmon is the Census employee who was caught falsifying the data, according to confidential Census Bureau documents obtained by the paper. Buckmon told the Post during a subsequent interview he was told to falsify the data by superiors at the agency.

The paper said that, ironically, the Labor Department's demanding standards made conditions ripe for data manipulation.

From the Post:

Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews - meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.

Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I'm told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.

Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.

"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 told the Post's John Crudele.

Under contract from the Labor Department, the Census Bureau is responsible for conducting the household survey to gather data used to calculate the unemployment rate. To get it, about 60,000 households are interviewed to gather the monthly jobless figures (which is currently 7.3 percent). Since the measurement is treated as a scientific poll, each of the households interviewed represents about 5,000 homes in the U.S.

Reporting anyone can boost the employment figures

"Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said," wrote Crudele. "By making up survey results - and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs - Buckmon's actions could have lowered the jobless rate."

The employee told Crudele that he made surveys for people he could not reach by phone or who did not answer their doors.

But, he said he was never told how to answer the questions about whether the nonexistent people were employed or not, looking for work or who had simply abandoned their job search.

Still, people who are familiar with how the survey works say that just the act of creating people and filling out surveys in their name would elevate the number of people reported as being employed.

What's more, the Census Bureau never disclosed publicly that its data was falsified. Nor did officials at Census inform Labor it was provided tainted data.

"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."

A House panel is investigating the falsification of data.





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