The agency that produces the monthly jobs report is at risk of making mistakes or being forced to delay its reporting due to a lack of funding, the former head of that agency under President Obama warned Friday.
Erica Groshen, the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics under president Obama, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Friday that underfunding means the agency is not adequately staffed, and "may be headed toward failure."
"It hasn't happened yet, thanks to the BLS's dedicated staff, but sooner or later it will," he wrote.
Groshen cited "sources" indicating that the bureau will be singled out for further cuts under President Trump.
The Trump administration has not said that it would cut funding for the statistical agency. But its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would cut the Department of Labor's budget by about a fifth, likely necessitating spending reductions in most areas.
Trump has long questioned the main unemployment rate published by the bureau, and focused on other indicators of joblessness while calling the agency's credibility into question.
On taking office, however, his rhetoric changed. The White House has said that the numbers are now real even if they were phony in the past.