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The Repubs can hate that dastardly 7.8 all they want. If the Bureau of Labor Stats had a whazoo and a piece of coal was shoved up it, it would emerge a diamond. That's how tight BLS'S internal security is.

The only WH appointee is the commissioner, who operates entirely independently with no White House input or supervision whatsoever. The Census Bureau begins surveying households several weeks before the Fri. due date to ask about unemployment. This is extensive: 2,000 employees/60,000 contacts. A 2nd survey focuses on businesses, and determines how many jobs have been created or lost. The 141,000 businesses and government agencies that agree to participate submit payroll information online or via phone. About a week before the report comes out, the figures are securely transmitted from Census to BLS.

At this point, things get real interesting:

The suite of offices where the report is prepared are locked down. Employees must have electronic access keys to enter. The economists and statisticians working on the report are required to lock up any paper copies of the report when they’re not at their desks, even to go to lunch. A final draft is completed by Wednesday morning, 2 days before release. Several committees pore over the data to ensure accuracy. Wording is scrutinized to make sure it’s free of anything that could be seen as political spin.

Obama, his top economic adviser, and a few other officials saw the 7.8 on Thursday PM. BLS is a subsidiary of the actual Labor Dept., headed by Hilda Solis. And when, historically, do the Dept's. Big Bosses like Solis learn the the highly-guarded number?

Labor secretaries don't know the numbers until about 8A Friday, a scant half-hour before release!
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