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String of errors in federal statistics favoring Democrats raising concerns of manipulation

Prominent among these erroneous numbers was the Bureau of Labor Statistics' reported overestimate of second quarter job growth by a sizable margin.

Published: December 21, 2022 4:25pm

Updated: December 23, 2022 11:46pm

A recent string of errors and apparent discrepancies in federal statistics has raised concerns that such metrics, long regarded as irreproachably nonpartisan and credible, may have fallen prey to manipulation in favor of the incumbent Democratic Party.

The three most glaring recent examples of such statistical misfires are:

  • the Bureau of Labor Statistics' reported overestimate of second quarter job growth by a sizable margin;
  • the Census Bureau's population overcounts of blue states and undercounts of red states — in a reapportionment year;
  • the apparent disappearance of 50,000 asylum applications from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

1. In a boon to Biden, the Bureau of Labor Statistics allegedly overreported total job growth by more than 1 million.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 1,047,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2022. The Biden White House consistently highlighted this metric in the run-up to the November midterms as evidence of an economic rebound under the president's leadership. 

However, a separate report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve released last week calculated actual job growth during that period at a mere 10,500 positions, meaning total employment remained essentially flat. The Philadelphia Fed report makes use of BLS data, but arrives at a different figure by using "more comprehensive, accurate job estimates released by the BLS as part of its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program," according to The Washington Times.

The BLS numbers reflect its monthly reported data, rather than the quarterly data sets on which the Fed report relied.

The Philadelphia Fed found, moreover, that BLS data underestimated unemployment numbers in 29 states and the District of Columbia. The disparities in some states were quite significant. In President Biden's own Delaware, for example, the BLS reported a 4.5% increase in payroll, whereas the Philadelphia Fed reported a 4.1% decline.

Such errors blatantly favoring the administration's narrative during an election year have led some lawmakers to begin questioning the reliability of BLS data. Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, for instance, has outright accused the Biden administration of lying about basic economic data to secure political gains.

"@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. "I'm requesting an immediate meeting with the head of @BLS_gov. WE NEED ANSWERS NOW!"

In response to criticism of its jobs estimate, a BLS spokesperson told Just the News: "BLS does not believe that the monthly CES data dramatically overestimated employment growth, though all survey data contain error and revisions are a necessary part of the statistical estimation process to ensure accuracy." 

2. The U.S. Census overcounted Democratic states, undercounted Republican states, affecting reallocation of congressional seats.

The 2022 midterm contests were the first to follow the reapportionment of congressional seats and redrawing of district lines as a result of the most recent U.S. Census. The decennial population survey was marred by large, consequential counting errors, with officials from the Census Bureau admitting it overcounted the populations of Democratic-leaning states while undercounting those of Republican-leaning ones. As a result, several population-losing blue states retained congressional seats to which they were not entitled at the expense of growing Republican states that merited greater representation.

A post-count analysis of the 2020 census found that red states Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, along with traditionally Democratic Illinois, had all been undercounted significantly. By contrast, reliably Democratic states Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and Delaware were overcounted, as were GOP-leaning Ohio and Utah.

The most severe error occurred in Arkansas, where census officials undercounted the population by 5.04%.

Following the bureau's admission of its errors, Republicans were livid, as the revelations came too late to affect congressional reapportionment.

"The numbers don't lie," Texas GOP Rep. Troy Nehls told Just the News in October. "Texas was undercounted by 2%, which means we were cheated out of an additional seat in Congress.

"And four other Republican states were as well. As a result, these red states have less representation in Congress, fewer votes in the Electoral College, and therefore receive less federal funding."

Such miscounts may have been intentional, Nehls suggested. 

"This wasn't a coincidence because things like this don't just happen," he said. "The bureaucrats in Washington have an agenda. They want Democrats in power and won't let anything get in their way. We must get to the bottom of what happened."

3. 50,000 asylum files disappeared, creating the illusion of a reduced backlog of claims.

A nonpartisan academic clearing house that handles government statistics recently decided to retract its data on illegal migrant children, citing concerns federal data had become too faulty to be reliable.

The Syracuse University-affiliated Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) in December announced that the loss of roughly 50,000 pending asylum applications allowed the Biden administration's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to "falsely report that its asylum backlog had been reduced this past year when in fact it had markedly grown."

The organization reported that its warnings to the EOIR about faulty methodology for tracking minors had been ignored and that the issues were severe enough to warrant TRAC dropping its own reports entirely.

"TRAC has concluded that these flaws ... are so serious that the resulting statistics based on these data are not an accurate or reliable indicator of the quantity or characteristics of juvenile cases currently being handled by the Immigration Court," the group wrote.

"Government agencies should be transparent and accountable to the American public — but this is difficult if they don’t collect reliable information on what they are actually doing," the TRAC statement went on.

Of particular concern to TRAC were several problems it identified with the juvenile migrant data it routinely received from EOIR. For example, roughly 29% of cases before courts handling the cases of minors included individuals not listed in the data they received, according to the data collection organization. They found, moreover, that many migrants had been erroneously classified as juveniles despite being unreasonably old to merit such a designation. They further highlighted that 88% of juvenile migrants on the list did not appear in court cases involving families seeking asylum.

TRAC contends that its concerns fell on deaf ears.

"The Immigration Court's failure to respond to or address TRAC's findings of significant data quality issues regarding minors is particularly concerning given the highly sensitive nature of children facing deportation," the organization said.

These allegations come amid an unprecedented surge in illegal migration during fiscal year 2022, which saw a record 2.4 million migrant encounters, for a total of nearly 4 million since Biden took office in January of 2021. Those figures are expected to rise with the possible termination of the Title 42 immigration rule that allowed border authorities to swiftly deport migrants coming from a nation known to host a communicable disease.

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