DOL's Solis Misleads CNBC Viewers on Job Revisions, Admin's Willingness to Work With Congress

In a Friday interview where the primary purpose was to give her an opportunity to defend her Bureau of Labor Statistics, Obama administration Department of Labor head Hilda Solis gave CNBC viewers the false impression that prior-month upward revisions to reported job additions were in the private sector (they were all government jobs), and falsely claimed, despite her boss's refusal to do anything until after Election Day, that "Congress needs to work with us."

The video can be found at CNBC, where Solis tells the network's reporter that "I am insulted" that people would believe that BLS's books are cooked. Here is her specific quote on job growth (Solis's comments below are not in the text of the post; HT Breitbart's Big Government; bolds are mine):

You have to look at what happened across the board, not just in one month. But look what happened in the last two months. We also saw revisions there, upwards of 86,000 additional jobs added. But this brings us now to 5.2 million private sector jobs across the board. We saw 104 (thousand) private sector jobs created (in September).

We still need to do more. We know there is still that willingness for all of us to see that more people are put back to work. But in this particular report, I am happy to see that we've seen continued growth in professions and business, and also in local government, education, but more importantly in health care. And those are areas that I know something about. I've been traveling around the country. We're seeing more investments in manufacturing, in high-skilled labor areas. That's where we need to place the focus. And we need Congress to cooperate with us so we can make sure that ... (cross-talk) ...

Solis would probably argue that she wasn't really referring to the private sector when she discussed the combined 86,000-job upward revisions to July and August. But I believe it came off that way to most CNBC viewers and reads that way to most viewing this post. CNBC's interviewer should have detected the lack of clarity in Solis's statement and cleaned it up for the benefit of the network's viewers.

The fact are these:

  • Before the revisions, as seen in a post at my home blog yesterday, the BLS's data showed that 265,000 private-sector jobs were added during the previous two months (162,000 in July and 103,000 in August).
  • After the revisions, the combined number came down to 260,000.
  • The combined 86,000-job write-up in July in August consisted of a reduction of 5,000 private-sector jobs an additions of 91,000 jobs in federal, state, and local government.
  • The private sector has added an average of only 121,000 jobs per month during the past three months, and of only 105,000 during the past six. This pace is far slower than the 164,000-job pace seen in the first 25 months, which itself isn't acceptable in the circumstances.

As to the Solis's tired "Congress needs to work with us" talking point, Politico, as carried at NJ.com, reported the following on September 10:

"We have tried and we have talked to Democrats and I know many members have different [ways of solving the problems]," House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said. "Unfortunately, the president says he won't deal with this until after the election. ..."

It's particularly offensive, but sadly typical, to see an administration apparatchik brazenly deceive the nation in claiming that it's Congress which is the hold-up when it's really her administration, particularly her boss, who "won't deal with this." Meanwhile, Taxmageddon continues to adversely affect the economy now.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.