美 國勞工部五日公佈失業率跌破八％，為歐巴馬選情帶來利多，消息公佈不到五分鐘，威爾許在推特上對著一百三十萬名推特追隨者表示：「就業數據令人難以置信。 這些芝加哥的傢伙（指歐巴馬）不擇手段，辯論贏不了，就竄改數字。」佛州共和黨眾議員威斯特附和威爾許的說法，社論作家卡羅說，他認為勞工統計局沒有操弄 數據，而是一堆民主黨支持者謊報找到工作。
白 宮經濟顧問委員會主席克魯格表示，「這種說法真是太荒唐了，正常人不會相信勞工統計局會竄改數字。」美國勞工部長索里絲則表示，這種說法相當侮辱人。賓州 大學華頓商學院教授沃佛斯表示，威爾許的發言是「幫自己貼上白痴的標籤」。納羅夫經濟顧問公司的董事長納羅夫指出，失業率一個月下降○．三個百分點並不罕 見，過去十年來已經發生了十二次。「換句話說，至少每年都會出現這樣大的降幅。」
就業報告是由美國勞工部勞工統計局的普查員，以電訪或親訪 美國的六萬個家庭統計而成，不受白宮監管或介入。失業率數據出爐的八天前，勞工統計局就會封鎖資訊，負責監督準備過程的專員會將報告放在辦公室的保險箱 內。如此嚴密的保護報告，不是為政治，而是因為這些報告如果提早曝光，可能造成金融市場波動。勞工統計局強調，負責這些報告的是公務人員，而非政務官。
Jack Welch vs. the Jobs Report
By Josh Voorhees (@JoshVoorhees)
7.8 PERCENT: That was the nation's unemployment rate last month, according to the latest jobs report released today by the Labor Department. That figure is down three ticks from August's 8.1 percent, and represents the lowest unemployment level since President Obama took office in 2009.
JOBS, NEW AND FOUND: The government data shows that employers added roughly 114,000 jobs last month, largely in line with analysts' predictions. The real surprise came in the form of revisions to July and August's jobs numbers, which together added a combined 86,000 more jobs than previous estimates.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS: Slate's Matthew Yglesias: "[O]ver the past two weeks the world has added two great new talking points for Obama. One is that per this month's BLS household survey, the unemployment rate is now back down to where it was in January 2009 before he took office. The other is that between the rebaselining of the first quarter and the upward revisions to July and August it's now clear that more people are at work today than were when Obama was inaugurated—with the net private sector gains even stronger."
THE GOOD NEWS FOR THE ECONOMY: The Washington Post: "Unlike in August, the number improved for the right reason: not because people gave up looking for jobs, but because far more people reported having one."
ANYONE WANT TO DISPUTE THE NUMBERS? Yes, you in the back there, Jack Welch. "Unbelievable jobs numbers ... these Chicago guys will do anything ... can’t debate so change numbers,” the former CEO of General Electric tweeted, quickly finding support in some conservative circles that included at least one GOP congressman.
PUTTING THAT IN PERSPECTIVE: Slate's Dave Weigel: "Let's hope that's a joke, because the idea of an administration doing black magic to Labor statistics in the 24 hours before a report comes out is up there with assuming WTC Building 7 was brought down with controlled demolitions. The Romney campaign, naturally, is smarter and more slippery."
SO, MR. WELCH, WERE YOU JOKING? “I wasn’t kidding,” he told the Wall Street Journal. "I am doing nothing more than raising the question."
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BLS: The New York Times: "The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is part of the Labor Department but has no political appointees at the moment, computes the numbers from two surveys, one of businesses and one of households. By definition, the data in both surveys are not precise and are subject to regular revisions. Recently, those revisions have showed a strengthening labor market, suggesting that if anything the economy may be improving more than initially reported."
NOT EXACTLY A SURPRISE: The Washington Post: "The fact is that there’s not much that needs to be explained here. We’ve seen drops like this—and even drops bigger than this—before. Between July and August the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent—two-tenths of 1 percent. November-December of 2011 also saw a 0.2 percent drop. November-December of 2010 saw a 0.4 percent drop. This isn’t some incredible aberration. The fact that the unemployment rate broke under the psychologically important 8 percent line is making this number feel bigger to people than it really is."
IN PRAISE OF THE BLS: Slate's Matthew Yglesias: "The real story about BLS data is how enormously credible it is. Financial markets, the press, opposition politicians, and everyone else almost uniformly takes it seriously. If anything, the national pathology is taking the month-by-month errors a little too seriously and not wrestling with sample error, modeling error, and the relatively large scale of revisions. Conspiracy theorists are rare enough to be newsworthy, and widely dismissed as conspiracy theorists."
LAST WORDS: Romney: “This is not what a real recovery looks like,” he said in a statement. “We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office.” Obama: "Every month reminds us that we've still got too many of our friends and neighbors who are looking for work. ... But today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."