Without presenting any evidence, veteran New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman suggested Friday that President Trump may have falsified the favorable jobs report that surprised analysts and bouyed the president’s spirits amid the dual crises of the coronavirus shutdown and racial unrest.
“This being the Trump era, you can’t completely discount the possibility that they’ve gotten to the [Bureau of Labor Statistics],” Krugman said in a tweet Friday morning reported by the Washington Free Beacon. “But it’s much more likely that the models used to produce these numbers — they aren’t really raw data — have gone haywire in a time of pandemic.”
The bureau’s May jobs report was expected to show a 19.8% unemployment rate. Instead, the rate was 13.3%, a drop from April’s 14.4%, which was the worst since the Great Depression.
The Free Beacon reported Jason Furman, who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, replied to Krugman’s charge on Twitter.
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