Rather than focus on idiotic conspiracy theories about how the White House manipulated the September employment numbers (it can't be done, really), the anti-Obama crowd should concentrate their fury on one aspect of the report that's legitimately less than terrific: The number of people who are working part-time but want to be working full time rose by 582,000. That helps explain why the Labor Department's household survey (that's the one determining the unemployment rate) rose by 873,000 in September. From the WSJ:
Workers told the Labor Department they took part-time work (usually 35 hours of less) because of slack business conditions or because it was the only job offered. Part-time jobs now account for 6% of all jobs, double their share before the Great Recession. For businesses, part-time workers offers the flexibility needed to pair the supply of labor with the level of new orders and production. The option protects profit margins. The problem for the consumer sector, and thus economic activity overall, is that involuntary part-time work doesn't supply the income necessary for full-time consumption. Part-time work also generally doesn't include benefits such as health care and retirement plans, adding further financial challenges to households without full-time employees.
*More on the idiotic conspiracy theories from NYT columnist Catherine Rampell:
In case you still believe that the models the bureau uses are being manipulated to put President Obama in a better light, note that there are not even any political appointees currently serving in the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They're all career civil servants who have worked under both Republican and Democratic administrations. (The commissioner of the bureau is supposed to be a political appointee, but right now that position is vacant. The acting commissioner, Jack Galvin, has been temporarily holding the position since January, and he is a career civil servant.) I also called the Bureau of Labor Statistics to ask about another conspiracy theory I heard: that the bureau changed one question on its household survey recently. Fran Horvath, a senior economist, said that was not so.