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Congress Reviews Labor Department's Jobs Reporting Practices

Washington, DC
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the monthly jobs reports released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Labor Department.

The Committee examined proposed changes to the Department’s current policy giving certain media organizations early access to those reports, allowing them to house their own computer systems inside the Labor Department for distributing the reports.

Members also asked about how the Department comes up with statistics for so-called green jobs.

Critics have voiced concerns that moving to different systems could promote inaccuracies and disturb the circulation of reports.  During the hearing, Bloomberg News Executive Director Daniel Moss offered a heavy critique against DOL in his opening statement.  He threatened to take the Department to court if their proposal on BLS reports is not delayed. 

Mr. Moss then accused the Department of breaking the rules for making such proposals and stated there has been some “movement” in coming to an agreement with the Department thanks to pressure from members of Congress.

Additional witnesses include economic policy experts and two senior advisors from the Department of Labor.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has declined to testify at this hearing.

 

 

 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee questioned Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Acting Commissioner John Galvin and others about a series of changes planned by his agency around its release of the government's jobs report and other key data.

Lawmakers explored the possible political tone of data-release practices at the Labor of Department (DOL).  BLS's technological updates and other innovations led the department to change its procedures.

Critics have voiced concerns that moving to different systems could promote inaccuracies and disturb the circulation of reports.  During the hearing, Bloomberg News Executive Director Daniel Moss offered a heavy critique against DOL in his opening statement.  He threatened to take the Department to court if their proposal on BLS reports is not delayed. 

Mr. Moss then accused the Department of breaking the rules for making such proposals and stated there has been some “movement” in coming to an agreement with the Department thanks to pressure from members of Congress.

Additional witnesses include economic policy experts and two senior advisors from the Department of Labor. Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to testify, but she was not available to appear.

Updated: Monday, June 25, 2012 at 11:15am (ET)

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