Scarborough and Geist are right to express skepticism, but it doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theory to say that the numbers don’t make sense. CNBC’s senior economics reporter said the same thing in his analysis this morning, too. If the BLS wanted to tweak the numbers to make Obama look good, though, they would have come up with a better number than +114K overall.
Ezra Klein speaks truth to truthers:
The household survey is, well, a survey, which means it’s open to error. But the internals back it up. The number saying they had jobs increased by about 800,000. That seems high, but it’s counting 582,000 who say they got part-time jobs.
There’s precedent for this. As Daniel Indiviglio notes, part-time jobs increased by 579,000 in September 2010 and by 483,000 in September 2011. It might simply be seasonal hiring. You don’t need to resort to ridiculous theories like Democrats across the country suddenly deciding to lie to surveytakers in order to help Obama.