Gov. Scott Walker’s administration says the job-growth numbers he made public earlier than normal have been verified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.Wisconsin Department of Workforce Developmentspokesman John Dipko told The Associated Press on Wednesday, May 30th that the BLS has confirmed Wisconsin jobs grew by 23,608 in 2011.... His Democratic opponent in Tuesday’s recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, accused Walker of “cooking the books” and trying to spin the numbers to his advantage.
In an interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD yesterday outside of an event at a coffee shop in Wisconsin Rapids, Barrett said that he would accept the numbers cited by Walker as more accurate once they had been verified by BLS.
TWS: When it comes to the conflicting jobs reports, Governor Walker says that the one that surveyed 96 percent of employers is more accurate than the survey of 3.5 percent of employers. Why do you think the 3.5 percent survey--the BLS survey--is more accurate?
BARRETT: Well, of course, he's embraced the BLS statistics in the past. And he knows that these numbers that he's rushed out can't be verified before the election. And he wants us to believe that the Bureau of Labor Statistics made the largest mistake it has ever made. That's what his numbers would require us to accept as fact. I don't accept as fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics made a 57,000 job error and did it so that it would help Scott Walker. I think that Scott Walker is trotting out these numbers 20 days before the election because he knows he cannot defend his abysmal record in the state. You go around the state--the people I've talked to out of work, they don't see these jobs. He might see them. He might believe they're there. I don't believe they're there.
TWS: Do you think people in the Department of Workforce Development were complicit in fudging these numbers somehow?
BARRETT: I think he brought his political appointees in and said let's have a measure that's going to work and make me look better.
TWS: Okay. But you don't think that a hard count--a head count [of jobs]--is better than a survey?
BARRETT: Verified. It's not verified.