Oops: Biden BLS overstated jobs numbers by more than 1 million, raising manipulation concerns

In some states, the differences were quite stark.

Published: December 20, 2022 9:13pm

Updated: December 20, 2022 11:35pm

An assessment from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve has found that the Bureau of Labor Statistics dramatically overstated second quarter jobs numbers, prompting scrutiny from Republicans who have raised concerns of politically motivated manipulation of federal statistics.

The BLS reported that the U.S. economy saw a net gain of 1,047,000 jobs in the second quarter, per the Washington Times, while the Philadelphia Fed contends the figure was actually a mere 10,500 jobs.

Moreover, BLS data overstated employment numbers in 29 states and the District of Columbia by significant margins compared to the same metrics from the Philadelphia Fed report.

In some states, the differences were stark. In President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware, for example, the BLS had reported a 4.5% increase in payroll jobs, whereas the Philadelphia Fed found the actual rate was a 4.1% loss.

The Philadelphia Fed contends that its metrics are more reliable because it draws its data from the "more comprehensive, accurate job estimates released by the BLS as part of its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program," per the outlet. The BLS stats use monthly reported data.

In the leadup to the November midterms, the Biden administration, including the president himself, loudly promoted the BLS figures as signs of a positive trend in the economy under his leadership.

In light of the oft-repeated Democratic campaign line, some Republicans have leveled accusations against the government of manipulating its data to favor the incumbent party.

Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, for example, outright accused Biden of "lying" and demanded a meeting with the head of BLS to resolve the alleged discrepancy.

"Wrong by a million jobs @JoeBiden's admin has been lying to the American people about our economy to prop up his failed agenda & I won't stand for it," he tweeted on Friday. "I'm requesting an immediate meeting with the head of @BLS_gov. WE NEED ANSWERS NOW!"

The apparent overstatement of jobs numbers has raised doubt about the veracity of federal statistics at a time when such questions are already mounting over significant errors in the U.S. census, which led to more favorable redistricting figures for Democrats.

The U.S. Census significantly overcounted the populations of traditionally Democratic strongholds, while undercounting Republican ones, thereby affecting the reapportionment of electoral votes and congressional delegations.

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