Regarding "Report: Drop in unemployment" [News, Oct. 6], when the Department of Labor announced good employment figures several months ago, many of Mitt Romney's cohorts immediately said that the figures were phony, without a scintilla of proof.

Last week, the Department of Labor came up with some decent employment figures again. The knee-jerk reaction of former General Electric chief executive Jack Welch and Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is that the figures were doctored. I wish they would either give proof of skulduggery or shut their mouths.

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Joseph Pressner, Melville

Before the Civil War, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a free person for representation in Congress.

Today, the Department of Labor counts the long-term unemployed, who have exhausted their benefits, as zero when reporting the official unemployment rate, thus artificially reducing it.

Millions of jobless workers are ignored. To the federal government, they don't exist.

Fred Gang, Syosset