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Oct Jobs Report Could Be Delayed DOL Closings

From the New York Times:

Friday’s Data on Joblessness, Eagerly Awaited by Campaigns, Could Be Delayed by Storm

By ANNIE LOWREY | Mon October 29, 2012

WASHINGTON — Hurricane Sandy might force the Labor Department to delay the release of the monthly report on the nation’s unemployment, due Friday morning, the most hotly anticipated piece of economic data to come out before the election.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data and statistics division of the Labor Department, is scheduled to release the October jobs report at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. But the hurricane has shuttered government offices and closed public transportation in and around Washington, and that might lead the department to delay the release of the report.

Yes, Hurricane Sandy meant they had to close their offices on Monday before the storm started. And they are closed again today, since it is still lightly drizzling in DC.

“We will assess the situation when the weather emergency is over and notify the press and public of any changes at that time,” a bureau spokesman, Gary Steinberg, wrote Monday in an e-mail.

Another Labor Department spokesman, Carl Fillichio, said in an e-mail that employees were “working hard to ensure the timely release of employment data” at the end of the week. “It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual regarding the October Employment Situation Report.”

They aren’t "working hard" if their offices were closed yesterday and today.

The Labor Department has already completed the monthly surveys of about 60,000 households and 140,000 businesses and government offices that provide the raw data for the jobs report. But bureau specialists need to translate that raw data into the jobs report every month.

And by "translate" they mean massage it into something that it isn’t. Which is what they call their ‘seasonal adjustments.’

Economists do not expect great surprises in October’s jobs figures. The unemployment rate is expected to stay about where it is and the slow, steady pace of jobs growth to continue.

There has not been any real jobs growth. The jobless number has only gone down because of people leaving the workforce. (AKA, ‘giving up.’)

In September, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest rate since President Obama took office but still elevated because of the recession.

The recession ended in June 2009. The New York Times never talked this way about the jobless rate under Bush, even though he too came into office during a recession.

Even the possibility that the report might be delayed prompted online criticism on Monday, with some accusing the bureau of delaying the jobs numbers for President Obama’s benefit.

"Online" is news media code for "crackpot."

In fact, the Politico reported this yesterday under the headline: "Conservatives fear jobs report delay." Because only rightwing crackpots would think there was anything untoward about that.

The bureau came under similar criticism after the September employment numbers came out much stronger than many economists expected, with some partisans crying foul and accusing the bureau of cooking the books. “Labor Dept. says may release latest unemployment figures until after election,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, in a Twitter message. “Par for course. Why release something might hurt Obama elect?”

Oh, those partisans! And never mind that September’s jobs report was so laughable it was even rejected by Gallup’s chief economist.

Labor Department employees and other experts from across the ideological spectrum dismissed the notion that the government would massage jobs figures for anyone’s political benefit. And the department has not said it will delay the jobs numbers until after the election, or if it will need to delay them at all.

If the jobs report ends up getting postponed, which was first reported as a possibility by The Wall Street Journal on Monday, it would be just one more kink that the gigantic hurricane has thrown into the final days of the presidential and Congressional campaigns.

Yes, as always, it’s all because of headwinds.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Labor Department ‘Working Hard’ to Ensure Jobs Report Released on Time

By Eric Morath | Mon October 29, 2012

UPDATE: The U.S. Labor Department on Monday said it is “working hard to ensure the timely release” of the October jobs report, saying it intends to released the report on schedule Friday despite Hurricane Sandy.

“It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual,” said Carl Fillichio, a senior press advisor at Labor. Mr. Fillichio’s statement provided clarity to an earlier Labor statement that said the agency would assess how to handle data releases this week after the “weather emergency” is over…

What heroism! Except they are closed today, even though the weather is quite temperate.

Still, is it really all that crazy to wonder if Obama delay this report if the numbers would hurt him? After the way he has covered up other things, such as Fast & Furious and Benghazi?

Does anyone think he would balk at pulling strings to have a bad jobs report held back?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Oct Jobs Report Could Be Delayed DOL Closings”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    It wouldn’t be fair to the electoral process, to, you know … uh … (insert excuse here) …

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