We are alarmed by the president’s tweet about the latest jobs report, posted more than an hour before the public release of the data [“With early tweet on jobs numbers, president breaks yet another taboo,” front page, June 2]. Long-standing protocols guiding the proper handling of federal statistics, including the jobs report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ensure carefully produced and highly sensitive data are released simultaneously to all without hints or insinuations. Advance indications about such data can create artificial market disruptions and fly in the face of directives guiding the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistical information.

What may be viewed as a harmless tweet forecasting a strong jobs report before its public release is, in fact, a breach of trust and a disservice to our nation. Federal statistical data must be available, accurate and appropriately handled by those in power. We urge the president to review the directivse requiring the executive branch to refrain from commenting on federal data until one hour after it is released publicly. The statistical community follows the protocols governing their activities designed to protect the integrity of our federal statistics. The president should do the same.

Ronald L. Wasserstein, Alexandria

The writer is executive director of the
American Statistical Association.

Lisa LaVange, Alexandria

The writer is president of the
American Statistical Association.