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Episode 392: Keeping The Biggest Secret In The U.S. Economy16:34

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps monthly unemployment figures very safe. (flickr.com)closemore
The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps monthly unemployment figures very safe. (flickr.com)

The monthly jobs numbers are important — really important. They tell everyone from manufacturers to stock traders how the economy is doing. Billions of dollars ride on the jobs numbers.

Get them early, and you'd have everything you need to make a quick fortune. And once — just once, as far as anyone knows — someone did get them early.

On today's show, we talk to the guy who got the numbers before everyone else. And we learn the crazy lengths the government now goes to in order to keep those numbers secret until it's time to release them.

Download the Planet Money iPhone App. Music: Walk The Moon's "Anna Sun." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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