Taking issue with news reports yesterday suggesting that government-led employment data may be tainted by unethical data collection practices, the Census Bureau late yesterday said there is no sign U.S. job stats have been tampered with.

"We have no reason to believe the there was a systematic manipulation of the data described in media reports," said the agency in a statement. "The Census Bureau takes allegations of fraud by its employees very seriously. Fabrication of data by an employee is grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal and possible criminal action."

Bloomberg has more:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Census Bureau, announced it will open an inquiry into the matter.

“The allegation that data gathered by the Census Bureau is being manipulated for any reason is extremely serious,” Blake Farenthold, a Republican from Texas who chairs the panel that directly overlooks the Census Bureau, said in an e-mailed statement.

The story is “obviously misleading,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said today in response to questions from the press. He said he has “absolutely not” heard that there’s anything to the report.