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Impossible To Manipulate Labor Survey Data—Former BLS Head
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/10/05/impossible-to-manipulate-labor-survey-data-former-bls-head/ ^ | 10/05/12 | Geoffrey Rogow

Posted on 10/05/2012 8:59:30 AM PDT by listenhillary

Even if the U.S. government wanted to manipulate monthly jobs figures, it would be impossible to accomplish, said a former head of the U.S. government’s labor statistics agency.

Accusations that the government had manipulated the latest employment report spread across Twitter and other forums Friday after the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Among those questioning the better-than-expected report was former General Electric Chief Executive Jack Welch, who tweeted the suggestion that the “unbelievable jobs numbers” were fabricated to help Obama’s electoral chances in next month’s presidential election.

But, Keith Hall, who served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 until 2012, said in an interview Friday that there is no way someone at the agency could change any of the data from its two monthly employment surveys. The significant improvement in the unemployment rate may reflect normal statistical errors in the sampling process, he said, but that has nothing to do with manipulation.

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: magicnumbers; sourcetitlenoturl; unemployment; unexpected; unfrickinexpected
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1 posted on 10/05/2012 8:59:34 AM PDT by listenhillary
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To: listenhillary

Bull$hit.


2 posted on 10/05/2012 9:00:24 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: listenhillary

And the Hawaii birth certificate is authentic.


3 posted on 10/05/2012 9:01:44 AM PDT by battlecry
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

They’ve already said that they revised the numbers for July and August.


4 posted on 10/05/2012 9:02:15 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: listenhillary

ANY data can be manipulated to acheive ANY desired effect. Just ask Al Gore or any of his hysterical harpies.


5 posted on 10/05/2012 9:02:25 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: battlecry

And the polls accurately reflect party ID.


6 posted on 10/05/2012 9:02:54 AM PDT by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: listenhillary
"Mr. Hall said the inconsistent reports reflect the different samples used in the two surveys, one focused on households the other on businesses. The establishment survey has a huge sample size of 141,000 business and agencies covering 486,000 worksites, whereas the household survey covers just 60,000 homes.

“The household survey is much smaller. When you look at something like labor force and employment levels, the uncertainty of those numbers is much larger,” said Mr. Hall. “Within two months, the household survey could show the unemployment rate eking back up.”

So it's "impossible to manipulate" -- but probably just wrong????

7 posted on 10/05/2012 9:03:59 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: listenhillary
The rate is simply based on a SURVEY...a PHONE POLL of "households". And as we know, polls are ALWAYS totally accurate....riiiight?

Also, the survey takers are ALL Hilda Solis' employees, and as we know she is TOTALLY NON-PARTISAN!

8 posted on 10/05/2012 9:04:00 AM PDT by montag813
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To: listenhillary
"The numbers are what they are"

Until we revise them.

9 posted on 10/05/2012 9:04:34 AM PDT by TheCipher (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself- Mark Twain)
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To: listenhillary

If you can’t ‘fool’ with the numbers, you can certainly hire more govt sector employees. IMO this is what is happening.


10 posted on 10/05/2012 9:05:00 AM PDT by duckman (I'm part of the group pulling the wagon!)
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

Rush predicted this would happen months ago. If I recall correctly, he said that the Oct. report would drop below 8%, just in the for the election.

This is why Rush is numero uno.


11 posted on 10/05/2012 9:05:14 AM PDT by Signalman
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

The Household survey of new jobs had hovered around 140,000 for months, and suddenly jumped 800,000 in one month? Rick Santelli has said for months that the Regime would get below 8% just before the election.


12 posted on 10/05/2012 9:05:36 AM PDT by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: listenhillary

With Obama, anything is possible.


13 posted on 10/05/2012 9:06:18 AM PDT by ScottfromNJ
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To: Signalman

“just in the for the election.”

just in time for the election.


14 posted on 10/05/2012 9:06:25 AM PDT by Signalman
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To: listenhillary

If you believe this I have a really good buy for you on some oceanfront property here in Arizona.


15 posted on 10/05/2012 9:08:35 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: listenhillary
One possibility is that the BLS DIDN'T manipulate the figures at all, but that those responsible for conducting the household phone interviews encouraged those answering the phone to be generous in considering what is a job.

This way the BLS can continue to use the same standard statistical methods that they alway have used but on more favorable raw data obtained through manipulation of the survey process.

16 posted on 10/05/2012 9:08:56 AM PDT by conservative sympathizer
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To: swamprebel
The Household survey of new jobs had hovered around 140,000 for months, and suddenly jumped 800,000 in one month?

Wasn't there a story last month that the DOL suddenly "found" an additional 800K jobs that had been overlooked? This is probably where this comes from.
17 posted on 10/05/2012 9:08:56 AM PDT by Signalman
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Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was asked on CNBC about suspicions that the Obama administration might have skewed the jobs numbers to aid Obama’s re-election prospects.

“I’m insulted when I hear that because we have a very professional civil service,” Solis said. “I have the highest regard for our professionals that do the calculations at the (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They are trained economists.”


18 posted on 10/05/2012 9:10:13 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: listenhillary

Were these numbers cooked?????

Household Survey: Unemployment fell from 6% to 5.8% and civilian employment increased by 440,000

Establishment Survey: Only 14,000 increase in non-farm employment

.......................................

They are from Nov 2003 when Bush the Younger was President. These discrepancies happen.


19 posted on 10/05/2012 9:11:30 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: listenhillary

That guy isn’t familiar with filthy Chicago politics. EVERYTHING can be distorted, perverted, manipulated and lied about. EVERYTHING! Even the tombstone marker voters are probably found jobs in September.


20 posted on 10/05/2012 9:11:42 AM PDT by Proud2BeRight
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To: listenhillary

"The media's got the "Re-Elect Obama" playbook and they're follwing it step-by-step..."

21 posted on 10/05/2012 9:12:18 AM PDT by montag813
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To: listenhillary

Anyone who has taken statitics 101 knows how easy it is to manipulate them. “There are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics”


22 posted on 10/05/2012 9:13:02 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again,)
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To: listenhillary

Every Rebublican and Conservative needs to call a presser to question these numbers. MAKE IT A MEDIA TALKING POINT. Challenge it and Question it! This BS can’t be allowed to go unchallenged.


23 posted on 10/05/2012 9:13:09 AM PDT by LeonardFMason
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To: montag813
..the survey takers are ALL Hilda Solis' employees

Glad to hear the O.J. jurors found gainful employment.

24 posted on 10/05/2012 9:13:59 AM PDT by JPG (Make it happen)
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To: listenhillary

Anything that includes a presentation of data in a statistical setting can be manipulated.

This man is lying.


25 posted on 10/05/2012 9:14:51 AM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (It's time to make Obama a minor footnote in the pages of history)
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To: TheCipher

Revisions due within two weeks.

But probably delayed beyond November 7th.

And coupled with the price of gasoline dropping from $3.80 a gallon to “only” $3.50 a gallon, why, the news is only good.

Keep in mind the term SWAG. (Scientific wild-(eyed) guess)


26 posted on 10/05/2012 9:15:29 AM PDT by alloysteel ("You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity".)
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To: listenhillary

Yeah, impossible? Riiiight!

That’s a miricle! For the first time in human existance has a man-made system been developed that is perfect and impervious to human shenanigans! Hooray for the government for discovering this! /sarc


27 posted on 10/05/2012 9:16:12 AM PDT by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: listenhillary
But, Keith Hall, who served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 until 2012

That's all you need to know.

28 posted on 10/05/2012 9:17:03 AM PDT by Smokeyblue
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To: Signalman
Wasn't there a story last month that the DOL suddenly "found" an additional 800K jobs that had been overlooked? This is probably where this comes from.

Nearly 400,000 More Jobs Added Than First Thought
Wall Street Journal ^ | September 27, 2012 | By Ben Casselman

Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012 2:13:02 PM by Oldeconomybuyer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released an early look at its annual “benchmark revision” of its payroll data. When the preliminary revisions become final early next year, the official data should show that 386,000 more Americans were working in March than previously believed. The private sector did even better, adding 453,000 jobs versus previous estimates. [snip]

See, all those jobs were hiding under the couch all along.
29 posted on 10/05/2012 9:21:06 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: listenhillary

And I suppose it would be impossible for a President to wage a war in Libya and implement amnesty for illegal aliens without consent from Congress, or unilaterally overturn Welfare Reform, or DOMA, or make illegal recess appoints, blah blah blah..


30 posted on 10/05/2012 9:22:30 AM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
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To: KarlInOhio

Good find.


31 posted on 10/05/2012 9:25:26 AM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: listenhillary

” . The significant improvement in the unemployment rate may reflect normal statistical errors in the sampling process, he said, but that has nothing to do with manipulation.”

LOL!!!!


32 posted on 10/05/2012 9:25:26 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: Signalman
Wasn't there a story last month that the DOL suddenly "found" an additional 800K jobs that had been overlooked? This is probably where this comes from.

The dems kept those jobs in the same closet in which the piles of uncounted ballots are stored.

33 posted on 10/05/2012 9:25:34 AM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: listenhillary

statistical errors = manipulation


34 posted on 10/05/2012 9:25:44 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: listenhillary

BS....they really do think we are stupid. Who in the world thinks you can suddenly find almost 900.000 “household survey jobs,’ with data that can’t be traced in the month of September...and most of them “part time”?

Only the brain dead welfare leaches and university Commies can’t figure out this scam. The people who have passed even rudimentary math know this can’t happen.


35 posted on 10/05/2012 9:26:07 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Smokeyblue

Yes it is.


36 posted on 10/05/2012 9:26:14 AM PDT by ColdOne (I miss my poochie... Tasha 2000~3/14/11 0bie don' t eatl my dog!)
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To: listenhillary

I used to play golf with a PhD mathematician who had worked for BLS, and he said there was always a lot of pressure from the upper (political) levels to fudge the numbers.


37 posted on 10/05/2012 9:27:00 AM PDT by expat2
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To: listenhillary; Madame Dufarge
Thanks go to Madame Dufarge. I was asking the same question earlier this morning and she forwarded that link to me.
38 posted on 10/05/2012 9:28:24 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: listenhillary

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure!

In other words,

LIES, DAMN LIES, and STATISTICS.


39 posted on 10/05/2012 9:30:35 AM PDT by VRWCRick
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To: Smokeyblue
But, Keith Hall, who served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 until 2012

Actually, this guy couldn't figure out how to fudge the numbers. So they found someone who could!

40 posted on 10/05/2012 9:42:14 AM PDT by the_Watchman
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To: listenhillary

Keep digging ....... pal.


41 posted on 10/05/2012 9:42:53 AM PDT by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: listenhillary
BLS
42 posted on 10/05/2012 9:42:57 AM PDT by crosshairs (America: Once the land of the free. Still the home of the brave.)
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To: conservative sympathizer
One possibility is that the BLS DIDN'T manipulate the figures at all, but that those responsible for conducting the household phone interviews encouraged those answering the phone to be generous in considering what is a job.

I will watch for weasel words that carefully do not say that they didn't do anything different, just that they didn't change anything about how they manipulated the data. In addition, perhaps they changed the locations where they made the phone calls to areas where people are more likely to start a home business if they lose their salaried job.

43 posted on 10/05/2012 9:43:57 AM PDT by Freee-dame
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To: C19fan

Cnbc is outright calling barrys administration liars, I have never heard that in all my years. After the horrendous debate this scandal if it does become one could be even worse for barry


44 posted on 10/05/2012 9:55:05 AM PDT by italianquaker (The 47 pct need to pay their fair share)
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To: listenhillary

Say that I am a caller to a household and my script asks: Are you a fulltime homemaker who cares for your children?...Voila! We have two more full time jobs filled right there...one as a daycare worker and one as a housekeeper. If they home school, add another one, “educator”, maybe cook. Ask another person if they attend to their elderly relative and call that a full time job too. If you walk your dog, then your are a “dog walker”. In Progressiveville, everything is possible. They use that famous Music Man “Think Method”.


45 posted on 10/05/2012 9:56:48 AM PDT by Anima Mundi (ENVY IS JUST PASSIVE, LAZY GREED)
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To: listenhillary

7.8?

Bull$hit.


46 posted on 10/05/2012 10:02:00 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Thought Puzzle: Describe Islam without using the phrase "mental disorder" more than four times.)
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To: listenhillary
Solis said. “I have the highest regard for our professionals that do the calculations at the (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They are trained economists.”

On the other hand, they work for you.

47 posted on 10/05/2012 10:03:18 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: TheCipher
“The numbers are what they are”
Until we revise them.

Revisions of previously announced preliminary statistics reflect the collection of additional and better data. Statistic revisions are entirely justifiable, indeed critical for economists and investors.

But that does not mean we should never question government statistics. This is certainly true of data derived from the Household Survey. The Household Survey is a relatively small sample of a very large, geographically and demographically varied population. The sample always must be adjusted so that it does not vary from the national population in respect to age, sex, race, income, geography and education (and probably a dozen other variables) beyond a prescribed confidence interval.

Like opinion polls, the adjustment methods are fallible. And, like opinion polls, they can be manipulated.

In my opinion, the change in Total Employment in September is a statistical anomaly at best. Year-over-year growth comparisons in this series for the first nine months of 2012 range from 1.6% (August) to 2.2% (June). September's statistic was 2.0%. That is comfortably within the YTD range, but the 0.4% acceleration from August to September is two standard deviations from the mean.

That's reflects odds of about 20 to 1. The nine months of data for 2012 is a small sample, and we should not draw too much from it. But the 2 STDs from the mean outcome is an outlier, and we have reason to doubt that it accurately reflects employment conditions. In other words, the likelihood is that this was either a bad sample or a manipulated sample. Or perhaps a combination of both.

No, the government cannot manipulate economic statistics. But it can intentionally choose a sample that it knows is misleading. There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate malfeasance. But the corollary is also true.

48 posted on 10/05/2012 10:04:48 AM PDT by irish_links
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To: listenhillary

It doesn’t need to manipulate anything. The means by which it measures those who have jobs as. % of those who are seeking jobs is sufficient to produce the honey numbers.


49 posted on 10/05/2012 10:11:55 AM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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To: listenhillary
But, Keith Hall, who served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 until 2012...

If these had been the first words of this piece I would have saved 10 seconds reading the first hundred words.

50 posted on 10/05/2012 10:15:21 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive)
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