Skip to comments.Laborís new approach to jobs data sparks outcry
Posted on 06/07/2012 6:46:51 AM PDT by In Maryland
Impending changes in Labor Department procedures for giving the media advance access to jobs data have drawn resistance from news outlets and House Republicans.
With job creation a central election year issue, committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., focused on two distinct themes: whether Labor mishandled this springs introduction of new information security procedures for release of jobs data and whether the Obama administration is exaggerating for political gain the number of green jobs it has helped create.
The Labor Department has jeopardized the integrity of employment data -- in some cases for clearly political reasons, Issa said. Now, without clear provocation, the DOL is unilaterally changing the method by which the media accessed Bureau of Labor Statistics job data . . .The abrupt nature of this change coupled with the absence of a clear explanation and a lack of public input raises key questions about who made the decision to implement this change and why.
Issa charged the administration with using the guise of environmental funds to justify counting as green such jobs as septic tank and portable toilet cleaners, bus driver, a college professor, policy expert at any think tank, even a lobbyist. He challenged the claim that 3.1 million green jobs were created in 2010, in part through $500 million in Recovery Act funds.
In April, the Labor Department sent out letters saying it was imposing new controls on the hardware and software used in the lockup, a special secure room where reporters for major financial wire services -- chiefly the Associated Press, Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Reuters -- are permitted to spend a half-hour with newly compiled employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics before a news embargo is lifted.
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Footage of Issa’s hearing was priceless. Particularly when he asked that wonk whether a kid working part-time at a used record store would be classified as a “green job” (it was!)
To Obama, a ‘green’ job is a job from a company that contributed a lot of ‘green’ to Obama’s campaign.