Labor Department Says It Contacted Commerce on Jobs Charges
The Labor Department has contacted the Census Bureau about allegations in a New York Post article today that reported jobs data released before the 2012 presidential election were manipulated. “We have contacted the Census Bureau about the allegations and we understand that the matter has been referred to the Commerce Department for an investigation,” Stephen Barr, a senior managing director in the Labor Department’s Office of Public Affairs, said. Under pressure from supervisors to boost response rates in the Philadelphia region, Julius Buckmon, a former Census Bureau employee, said he made up information for people he couldn’t reach two years before the 2012 election, according to the Post story. The newspaper, citing an unnamed source, then said the practice went beyond a single employee, escalated in the year of the election and continues to this day. The House Oversight Committee, which has jurisdiction of the Census Bureau, announced it will investigate the matter. “The allegation that data gathered by the Census Bureau is being manipulated for any reason is extremely serious,” Blake Farenthold, a Republican from Texas who chairs the committee, said in an e-mailed statement.