Labor Department corrects numbers on female job losses

U.S. Postal Service worker Magda Aguirre places mail into a sorting machine at the U.S. Post Office sort center on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says female postal workers had mistakenly been removed from its database when it was measuring the percentage of job losses by women in the U.S.

This final note today, a lesson that government statisticians ain't perfect.

Remember last month when Mitt Romney said women have lost 90-something percent of all the jobs that've disappeared since President Obama was inaugurated? There was much political back and forth, but the general assumption was that the data from the Labor Department was accurate.

Turns out, not so much. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that somehow female postal workers had mistakenly been removed from its database. They're back now. And the actual percentage of job losses by women the past three years? Closer to 56 percent.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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