The U.S. government in the final months leading up to the 2012 presidential election released "faked" unemployment data, according to a bombshell report from the New York Post.
Recall that the unemployment rate from August to September dropped precipitously to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent. This raised suspicion among certain members of the business community, most notably former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.
"Unbelievable jobs numbers," Welch said in an Oct. 5 tweet, "these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers."
He was quickly attacked by cable news pundits and branded by one group as an "unemployment-rate truther."
However, Welch's skepticism towards the September 2012 jobs report may not have been that far-fetched.
The September 2012 job numbers were "manipulated" and the the U.S. Census Bureau, the government agency responsible for the report, knew it, the Post alleges, citing "reliable sources."
The Post's anonymous source, who said he’s willing to speak to the Labor Department and Congress about the falsified data if asked to do so, said unemployment data manipulation, which continues to this day, involves more than just one rogue employee.
In fact, a full two years before President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House, the Census Bureau reportedly caught an employee fabricating unemployment data. However, the Post notes, instead of correcting the problem, it only got worse and escalated throughout the 2012 presidential election.
The employee who was caught two years ago, one Julius Buckmon, told the Post in an interview that he "faked" the numbers at the direction of his supervisors.
The Post’s John Crudele explains how Buckmon allegedly fabricated the data:
Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.
Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.
Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.
So how did Philadelphia fill the gap? With fake interviews, Buckmon said.
"It was a phone conversation -- I forget the exact words -- but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was," he said.
The Census Bureau interviews roughly 60,000 households (each household representing 5,000 homes in the U.S.) and uses the collected data to tabulate the unemployment rate.
Buckmon, however, apparently conducted three times as many interviews than he needed, according to the Post.
"By making up survey results -- and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs -- Buckmon’s actions could have lowered the jobless rate," Crudele reports.
"Buckmon said he filled out surveys for people he couldn’t reach by phone or who didn’t answer their doors," he adds.
The Census Bureau employee, for his part, said he never answered the part of the survey that asks if the respondent is “employed or not, looking for work, or have given up.”
But by making up nonexistent people, Buckmon theoretically could have influenced the final number of persons employed in the U.S. It's important to note that the Post's anonymous source -- not Buckmon -- was supposedly involved in the September 2012 jobs report.
Amazingly enough, the Census Bureau never disclosed this information and apparently never informed the Labor Department of the manipulated data.
"Yes, absolutely they should have told us," a Labor spokesman told the Post. "It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection."
There are reportedly at least a dozen separate reports of falsified data. Buckmon's "not the only one," the Post's anonymous source said.
A spokesperson for the Census Bureau did not immediately return TheBlaze's request for comment.
Click here to see the full report.
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This post has been updated.