Then-U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke discussing the first results of the 2010 Census
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The steep decline of the unemployment rate in August last year, from 8.1 to 7.8, was, in fact, too good to be true. It could be all mere fabrication, according to a New York Post report.

As it turns out, the Census Bureau knew about the fabrication, too. In 2010, the bureau caught an employee making up data for the unemployment report, which is one of the key measures of the economy.

This trend of results-manufacturing only escalated during Obama’s re-election campaign, and still continues today, the New York Post said.

According to Julius Buckmon, the employee who was caught making up results, he was told by his superiors to fabricate the information, in response, apparently, to the demanding standards of the Labor Department.

The department requires the bureau to reach at least 9 out of ten targeted households.

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“It was a phone conversation—I forget the exact words—but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told the Post.

However, doing so does have dire consequences. Creating too many fake people with too many jobs could have resulted in a lower unemployment rate, which in turn, the article notes, gives voters false impressions about the state of the economy and could lead lawmakers, the Federal reserve and businesses to make decisions fueled with false information.

Reportedly, the Census Bureau never publicly disclosed the problem, and abor was not informed about the issue either.

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Read more at the New York Post.