Labor Department is not hiding behind the hurricane

Right-wing claims of a purposeful delay on the jobs report were somewhat undermined by good ADP numbers

By Natasha Lennard
November 1, 2012 7:07PM (UTC)
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Department of Labor headquarters, D.C. (Wikimedia)

It would have been a clever trick by that dastardly Labor Department: use a devastating, coast-altering hurricane to purposefully delay the release of a jobs report so damning it would turn the election for the GOP if released on time this week.

At least this was the insinuation of Fox Nation when they called a possible delay in the October jobs report release "outrageous." Drudge too suggested the delay would be a "mystery," despite the fact that Frankenstorm unmysteriously shuttered D.C. federal offices (where jobs reports are created) for the first part of this week. The Daily Caller noted that "any delay would postpone the release until Monday, likely muting the impact of bad numbers."


Right-wing pundits might put this particular conspiracy theory to bed if today's October jobs report from payroll processor ADP is an indicator of the government's figures. If we go by ADP's numbers, we can expect a jobs report not too damning at all. "Private employers added 158,000 jobs in the month, ADP said, beating economists' forecasts of 143,000," CNN reported Thursday, noting, "Meanwhile, the number of people filing for initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to 363,000 in the latest week, the U.S. government said."

The ADP report is not always a strong predictor of Labor Department statistics. As the Wall Street Journal noted, "Recently, there has been little  correlation on a month-to-month basis between ADP’s number and the government’s nonfarm payroll report... How this all translates for tomorrow’s nonfarm payroll report remains to be seen."

The Labor Department are reportedly "working hard" to ensure a Friday release. Meanwhile, the ADP report, economists' predictions and a little decency during a weather emergency should hush suggestions that the Labor Department is hiding behind the hurricane.




Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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2008 Elections Adp Department Of Labor Fox News Jobs The Daily Caller Unemployment U.s. Economy