Former General Electric Chairman Jack Welch continued to defend his skeptical response to the latest jobs report, saying that the 7.8 percent unemployment figure reported by the Labor Department last week is “downright implausible” in an op-ed out Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.
Welch, who said the harsh response to his skepticism was something out of "Soviet Russia," does not directly accuse the Obama administration of tampering with the numbers, as he suggested in his initial response to the report on Twitter, but writes, “I doubt many of us know any businessperson who believes the economy is growing at breakneck speed, as it would have to be for unemployment to drop to 7.8% from 8.3% over the course of two months.”
Welch further writes, “I know I'm not the only person hearing these numbers and saying, ‘Really? If all that's true, why are so many people I know still having such a hard time finding work? Why do I keep hearing about local, state and federal cutbacks?’”
Welch acknowledges that his initial tweet (which read, "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers") was “somewhat incendiary,” and writes now that he should have “added a few question marks at the end…to make it clear I was raising a question.”
On Tuesday, Fortune magazine announced that Welch would no longer be writing for the magazine. Welch, according to Fortune, sent an email to editors there saying that he and his wife, Suzy, would be "terminating our contract" and will no longer be sending "material to Fortune."
Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer castigated Welch Tuesday on MSNBC, saying that he had a problem with his initial tweet, saying: "I think it's exactly the opposite of what Jack Welch is saying," adding that, "Things are actually improving." Also on Tuesday, Fortune posted an article on its website noting that "GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs while Welch was at the helm of the company." It was not long after that Welch sent his email saying he would no longer be writing for the magazine.