Addressing Concerns about the Integrity of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Jobs Reporting

Hearing Date: June 6, 2012 12:00 am

9:30am in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building 

When President Obama took office, he promised the American people he’d have “the most transparent administration in history.” From that point on – this was the standard to which Obama Administration would be held.
Almost four years later, more and more it seems that by their own actions, this Administration is on the wrong side of transparency.
The U.S. Department of Labor has jeopardized the integrity of employment data- in some cases for clearly political reasons.
Now, without clear provocation, the DOL is unilaterally changing the method by which the media accessed Bureau of Labor Statistics job data. The proposed changes are set to take effect next week.
According to a coalition of media organizations, Sunshine in Government, this set of changes will “necessarily inhibit journalists from producing thorough, timely and accurate reporting based on market-moving information.” Undoubtedly, this impending action has serious freedom of the press implications. We will hear directly from two leading media organizations about their concerns, as well as from a first-amendment advocate.
The abrupt nature of this change coupled with the absence of a clear explanation and a lack of public input raises key questions about who made the decision to implement this change and why.
The Department of Labor needs to reverse course on this wrong-headed policy change. And if they fail to do so, the White House must intervene. The President is ultimately responsible when a cabinet department embarks on an initiative that runs counter to both his own promises and the First Amendment.


Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Mr. Daniel Moss Executive Director Bloomberg News Panel 1 Document
Mr. Rob Doherty General Manager - United States Reuters News Document
Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth Senior Fellow The Manhattan Institute Document
Dr. Keith Hall Senior Research Fellow Mercatus Center, George Mason University Document
Ms. Lucy Dalglish Executive Director Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Document
Mr. Carl Fillichio Senior Advisor for Communications and Public Affairs U.S. Department of Labor Panel 2 Document
Mr. John Galvin Acting Commissioner U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Document
The Honorable Jane Oates Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration U.S. Department of Labor Document