Facing South has been tracking claims in the media that passage of the Employee Free Choice Act will allegedly lead to a dramatic increase in unemployment. Along with the charge that EFCA would "end secret ballots," this is one of the main charges that opponents of the labor bill are making so it's important to follow the debate.

The charges all hinge on one business-funded study released earlier this month by Anne Layne-Farrar of LECG, a major corporate consulting company. As Facing South revealed, the study relies on a surprisingly shaky set of data: the experience of just three Canadian provinces dating back up to 33 years. The study also never proves that unemployment in Canada was solely due to the use of card-check in certain provinces; other, larger economic forces could just as easily been to blame.

But such weaknesses haven't stopped pundits and politicians from summoning Layne-Farrar's study to oppose the EFCA. Since our last piece on the issue, writers for The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, The Oklahoman, The Vero Beach Press Journal and Investor's Business Daily have all quoted Layne-Farrar.

None of the pieces acknowledge the business backing behind Layne-Farrar's study, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who have pledged up to $30 million to fight the EFCA. In each case, Layne-Farrar is merely referred to as an "economist," a "lawyer," or in the Vero Beach Press Journal's case, a "renowned economist" (says who?).

Fortunately, Layne-Farrar's suspect study is not going unchallenged, although the task of exposing the report's backing and shaky findings seems to have fallen on those outside the mainstream media. In addition to Facing South,