Joseph Stiglitz: Jobs Numbers Conspiracy 'Literally Absurd'

Joseph Stiglitz appeared on 'Up w/ Chris Hayes' to discuss the jobs report released on Friday. Several prominent conservative figures, including former GE CEO Jack Welch, have accused the Obama administration of skewing the numbers to appear in its favor.

"No president, maybe except Nixon, would actually try to change what the Bureau Labor Statistics does or what the DEA does. These are really independent agencies and the idea that they would do that is literally absurd," Stiglitz said.

Stiglitz said the only thing that presidents can do is explain the numbers and put them in context of larger economic tides.

"You don't monkey with the numbers because that would destroy your credibility," he said.

Friday's report showed that unemployment had fallen to 7.8% after 114,000 jobs were added last month.

Although some Republican politicians and conservative commentators have questioned the accuracy of the figures, officials deny any wrongdoing.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told CNBC that it's "really ludicrous" to suggest that BLS manipulated the data.

"To think that these numbers could be manipulated ... It's impossible to do it and get away with it," said Keith Hall, a former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to the AP. "These numbers are very trustworthy.

Watch Stiglitz in the video above, courtesy of MSNBC.

CORRECTION: A typo in a previous version of this article stated that Welch is the CEO of GM. It has been corrected.



Economic Conspiracy Theorists