The US unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level in 44 months. Employers added 114,000 workers to payrolls last month, and 86,000 more jobs were created in July and August than previously thought. There’s a great chart here for you visual learners. As economic news, this is only mildly encouraging; as political news it’s better for the Obama campaign than for Mr. Romney.
The Republicans responded to these facts the way they usually do, with conspiracy theories. This time the lunatic accuser wasn’t Herman Cain , Michele Bachmann, or Donald Trump. This time it was former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who claimed that the Bureau of Labor Statistics manipulated the figures, the kind of thing Mr. Welch did at GE. The BLS isn’t GE, though.
“The BLS’ Enormous Credibility Is The Real Story and It’s What Makes America Great,” Matthew Yglesias, Slate
“Truth About Jobs,” Paul Krugman, New York Times
“September jobs report: Debunking the jobs report conspiracy theories,” Ezra Klein, Washington Post blog
“Jack Welch’s Jobs Data Conspiracy Theory Faces One Hurdle: REALITY,” Hans Nichols, Bloomberg, via Business Insider
“Officials reject conspiracists’ charges that Obama campaign manipulated unemployment rate,” Christopher S. Rugaber and Scott Mayerowitz, AP via Washington Post
“Meet the Incredible, Incoherent Jobs-Report Truthers,” David Graham, The Atlantic
“Obama, the Job Figures, and the Conspiracy Theorists,” John Cassidy, New Yorker online
“Unemployment rate tampering? Why conspiracy theorists went wild,” Ron Scherer, Christian Science Monior
“Conservative Jobs Conspiracy Is Nuts,” Robert Schlesinger, US News
“Obama, the Job Figures, and the Conspiracy Theorists,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker blog
Image (based on a WPA photo by John E. Allen) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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