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Jobs Report Met with Skepticism

Labor secretary responds.

10:23 AM, Oct 5, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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This morning's jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is being met with skepticism. The report found that, from August to September, the unemployment rate dropped from just above 8 percent to 7.8 percent.

In fact, when Labor Secretary Hilda Solis appeared on CNBC this morning, the first two questions for her were whether the books have been cooked:  

Solis called the charges insulting and "ludicrous."

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economics adviser to John McCain and the former head the Congressional Budget Office, calls the numbers "implausible."

"Sept. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent due to an extraordinary – but implausible – estimate of 873,000 #jobs in household survey,” said Holtz-Eakin on Twitter.

“The report presented a slew of contradictory data points, with the total employment level soaring despite the low net number,” said CNBC's Jeff Cox. 

The Washington Post's Neil Irwin adds, "Weird that payrolls are exactly on forecast but household survey is far better."

And the Wall Street Journal warns that these numbers should be taken "with a grain of salt."

"The big jump in the household survey is certainly a welcome sign. But take this data with a grain of salt, especially considering the volatile reputation this data point holds,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

"No way in the world these numbers are accurate," said Ed Butowsky of Chapwood Capital Investment on Fox Business. "Somebody needs to do an investigation. ... Investigate these numbers."

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