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Quick Picks: Contractor Fraud Findings and Fuzzy Unemployment Stats

Defense Department spending on contractors surged during the Bush administration, but Pentagon inspectors sent 76 percent fewer contracting fraud and corruption cases to prosecutors than those under President Clinton did, reports the Center for Public Integrity. A Pentagon spokesman blamed the drop partly on laws passed in the 1990s that require contractors to disclose less information, and IG reports have cited staffing shortages.

Also, BusinessWeek reports that the Labor Department's dire unemployment statistics released last Friday may actually be painting too rosy a picture: Those numbers don't account for freelancers or the self-employed, which make up 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Advocates are working to get them counted -- and eligible for unemployment benefits.

Check out more of our roundup of the best investigative stories around the Web. Was there a story we missed? Please keep sending us your picks.

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