Rick Ballard writing in You, Too Congress compares the BLS figures from March of 2000 and March of this year and credibly asserts it appears the Bureau is playing partisan games:
The report buries the 48,000 temporary hires by Census in March 2010 deep in the report. The 48,000 number is also at variance with reports that Census hired as many as 400,000 temporary workers in March (as well as with the 117,000 number reported in March 2000). If those reports are true (Census has been very coy about releasing data on actual hires), then this BLS report actually reflects a very sharp reduction in the number of people hired in March 2010. Census has declared their intent to hire a total of 1,150,000 temporary workers between January and June of this year. That amounts to an average of 287,500 per month. Why is the number reported in March so low?
We can't really know for the moment. The Ministry of Truth has determined that actual facts might be detrimental to the slavish devotion to fantasy required for complete docility.