12.06.2013 0

ALG praises Reps. Kline and Camp for investigation

U.S. Department of LaborBy Rick Manning and Tom Toth


On December 3, Representatives John Kline (MN-2) and Dave Camp (MI-4) issued a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez demanding information regarding how the Department of Labor utilizes and reviews information given for use by the Census Bureau for use in unemployment reports. The letter is in response to recent newspaper reports charging that unemployment data have been utilizing intentionally flawed surveys. A portion of the letter reads as follows:

“On Nov. 18, 2013, the New York Post reported the U.S. Census Bureau knowingly provided the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with inaccurate data for use in its employment situation reports, including those issued prior to the November 2012 elections. According to an unnamed source, the numbers  — which showed a decline in the unemployment rate from 8.1 percent in August 2012 to 7.8 percent in September 2012 — were manipulated. The same source further asserts the Census Bureau may still be providing BLS with inaccurate data. Given the many applications of BLS data in the private and public sectors, these allegations are deeply troubling. To ensure the ongoing integrity of BLS data, we request information regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) protocols for receiving, reviewing, and processing survey data provided to BLS by the Census Bureau.”

Americans for Limited Government applauds Representatives Kline and Camp for initiating an investigation into this developing federal scandal.

Regardless of whether or not the utilization of manipulated employment data is uncovered and proven, the fact remains that the Labor Department and Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the direct supervision of the White House, are politically incentivized to produce data beneficial to the administration.

Currently both ADP and Gallup produce similar reports in the private sector that are free from potential political influence.  It is actually ironic that a private sector company caught manipulating data would be immediately put out of business, whereas a government agency doing the same continues on without immediate repercussions.

Hopefully Kline and Camp’s investigation will get to the bottom of the matter and end the careers of those responsible.  It would also hoped be wise for Congress to reevaluate whether the federal government should be conducting these surveys at all, or whether they are best left to the experts in the private sector who are paid to get the data correct.

Click here to see the letter from Reps. Kamp and Cline in its entirety.

Rick Manning is the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government. Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government.

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