Last month’s controversial U.S. payrolls report is “not correct,” billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump told CNBC Tuesday, echoing a complaint voiced by several Obama administration critics that September’s jobs report may have been manipulated for political purposes.
Trump effectively backed the position of former General Electric chairman and CEO Jack Welch — who ignited a firestorm on Twitter last Friday when he assailed the jobs data as “unbelievable.” (Read More: Welch: Jobs Numbers Assume 5% Growth Rate—‘Impossible!’)
Although a number of analysts and commentators have viewed the figures skeptically, most have stopped short of declaring it as part of a conspiracy theory that benefits President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.
However, Trump — one of the Obama administration’s most implacable critics and a staunch supporter of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney — told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Welch was “100 percent correct” about the surprise drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent.
“Nobody … not even the biggest Obama fan, predicted 7.8 percent and out of nowhere … comes the 7.8 number and everybody was shocked by it,” Trump said. “And it was [good] news for Obama in a way, but it's not a correct number.”
Trump carried his critique further, adding that the Labor Department could upwardly revise the unemployment report at some point in the near future. (Read More: Jobs Growth Rises 114,000 as Rate Slides to 7.8%.)
“After the election they will put in a correction,” the real estate mogul said. “If you notice for the last year every time they put out a number they're correcting it a couple of months later, but the correction will be a massive correction and they'll say, ‘Guess what? We made a mistake,’ but in the meantime let's see what happens with the presidency,” Trump added.
For her part, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis blasted the idea that her department manipulated the data, calling such suggestions “ludicrous.” (Read More: BLS Explains Why 'Cooked' Jobs Report Charge is 'Preposterous'.)