The Bureau of Labor Statistics has officially discredited the Walker camp's claims that their job numbers have been certified accurate by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Communications Director Gary Steinberg, reached by phone said, with his emphasis on numbers and methods:
"The Bureau can not comment on the fourth quarter numbers because they haven't been released. I can say that we would not have confirmed the numbers yet, but would only have confirmed the methods used.
We can’t confirm fourth quarter or later data and would not have confirmed it to the governor’s office either."
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development spokesman Dennis Spurling, contacted by phone, confirmed that BLS had confirmed the methods used, but not the numbers. John Dipko, Communications Specialist at DWD disputes Spurling's statement, and says that BLS has approved "the data." The "data" however is different than the survey numbers traditionally used, and against which other states are measured.
The disparities between BLS's CES surveys and the benchmark numbers Walker is presenting are usually similar nationwide -- meaning that if Wisconsin was off by two percent other states would be off by a similar margin.
That's important -- because if Wisconsin was last in job growth in the CES numbers the overwhealming odds are that they will still be last under these new job numbers as well.