Joe Scarborough On 7.8 Percent Unemployment: “These Numbers Don't Add Up”

Unemployment dropped to 7.8 percent, a number that seemed to bewilder a skeptical MSNBC host Joe Scarborough this morning, who responded to the monthly jobs report by saying, “These numbers don't add up, it doesn't make sense.”


Scarborough maintained his skepticism of the number's veracity throughout the October 5 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, despite receiving explanations from analysts like Josh Green, from Bloomberg Businessweek, who noted earlier in the show:

One reason this number went down, is we didn't just add 114,000 new jobs, there were the upward revisions in August and in July. So we're talking well over 200,000 new jobs. I think that's evidence that business is getting off the sidelines, hiring.

Instead, Scarborough turned to former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who tweeted a conspiracy theory implying the Obama administration influenced the unemployment numbers:

The Morning Joe panel read the tweet aloud “for entertainment value,” according to Scarborough, but co-host Mike Barnacle responded to the tweet, saying, “I don't know where the number came from, I hope it's accurate - I just don't know.”

Earlier in the show, frequent Morning Joe guest and Time magazine pundit Mark Halperin warned against attacking the methodologies that the Bureau of Labor Statistics used to calculate the unemployment numbers:

If you go just based on Twitter right now, and the people I follow who are conservative - they're about to make a huge mistake. They're gonna say BLS numbers are horrible, some people are already saying the numbers are made up to help the president politically. They have to find a way to talk about the economy and why Governor Romney would be better, not to try to - it's exactly what they did with the polls the last two months, to attack the methodology. These numbers are good. They're not only good symbolically, they represent the economy moving in a better direction.