Jobless Drop Unsurprising, Despite Political Charges

Accusations of government manipulation of the unemployment rate swept across Twitter Friday, with former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, Florida GOP Rep. Allen West and CNBC's Rick Santelli insinuating that the new 7.8 percent rate — down from 8.1 percent in August — was fabricated to help President Barack Obama's electoral chances. But economists said Friday’s employment report was consistent with a labor market that has been slowly recovering. Keith Hall, a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told The Wall Street Journal that such tampering was not possible. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said she was insulted by the suggestion. "These are our best trained and best-skilled individuals working in the BLS, and it’s really ludicrous to hear that kind of statement,” she said on CNBC.

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