The 84,000 Jobs Error
Note: 5th in a series on President Obama’s job creation record
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President Obama announced to supporters in a campaign speech in Poland, Ohio today that job growth last month was +84,000 jobs.
That differs from the +80,000 job growth figure widely reported on literally every news media outlet in existence from TV to the Internet.
The first words of the government’s June 2012 jobs report read:
Nonfarm payroll employment continued to edge up in June (+80,000)
– June 2012 Jobs Report, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7/6/2012
It isn’t as if President Obama could have missed hearing about it. So, why the difference?
Knowing why President Obama said +84,000 instead of +80,000 is to understand how fundamentally disconnected President Obama is from the plight of joblessness in this country. It wasn’t an innocent slip of the tongue.
Why +84,000 instead of +80,000?
President Obama told supporters in Ohio the amount of private-sector job growth for June, not the total U.S. job growth.
There is a big difference between what he told supporters and the BLS’s monthly jobs report… about 31.3 million jobs worth of difference out of a total U.S. employed workforce of 142.4 million last month. Obama left out about 23% of the workforce.
You see, President Obama always ignores the 31 million or so public-sector workers from the figures he tells the American people.
The reason this time: 4,000 public-sector jobs were LOST last month. That explains the difference.
The President’s Deception
President Obama deserves credit for consistency. Since public-sector jobs finally started growing again, that is all that the President has quoted in every speech he has made over the last 2+ years.
He doesn’t include public-sector jobs because 600,000 of them have been LOST.
You see, if the President ignores public-sector losses then he can claim 28 months of continuous job growth instead of only 21 months. 28 sounds a lot better than 21.
The President knows what he is telling the public is deceptive. It isn’t an out and out lie because he qualifies it as being only private-sector job growth.
A further unspoken deception is that Obama implies his administration alone is responsible for private-sector job growth. In truth, ARRA was specifically crafted to save public-sector jobs over private-sector. It didn’t work. The extension of the payroll tax holiday twice over the last two years, which actually did help, was a bi-partisan effort by Congress.
President Obama knows all this. He purposely ignores it to make his job creation record sound better on the campaign trail.
Is President Obama Shrinking Big Government?
In a word: NO!
President Obama’s supporters claim the reduction in public-sector jobs since he was elected is proof that President Obama is actually reducing the size of big government. Even Reagan didn’t do that!
Today’s Daily Beast repeats that erroneous implication:
government at all levels has been shedding jobs, nearly half a million since Obama was elected. Hardly the massive growth of government that keeps so many up at night
“Unemployment Report: Why Job Growth Is Stalling“
– Zachary Karabell, The Daily Beast, 7/6/2012
Two graphs disprove the claim that President Obama has purposely reduced the size of government in any way, shape or form.
This graph clearly shows that total combined government employment at all levels – federal, state and local – increased under President GW Bush, but has declined under President Obama.
President Obama’s most ardent supporters gleefully toot that horn. They will smugly tell you that President Obama is shrinking the size of government while George W. did not.
What President Obama and his ardent supporters will hide from you is this graph. It’s what we in the numbers business call a smoking gun!
It shows total annual federal government employment under both President Bush and President Obama. State and local government employment has been excluded. It paints an entirely different picture.
Federal employment is the only kind that a President has direct control of. State and local jurisdictions handle their own employees.
As anyone can plainly see… in the face of massive job losses caused by the Great Recession of 2008, President Obama has INCREASED the size of the federal government!!
That is exactly what conservative Republicans feared Obama would do when he was elected President… and he has.
Worse yet, President Obama did it in the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. State and local governments were forced to cut back because of lost tax revenues brought on by the downturn in the economy.
That is why government is shrinking. Its all at the state and local levels.
President Obama, on the other hand, is growing the federal government.
For sure… President Obama got a raw deal. He was saddled with the enormous task of fixing a severely broken economy.
But you have to play the cards you are dealt in this life. If you can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen.
President Obama misrepresents, minimizes and sweeps the bad economy under the rug in every speech he makes. Million of Americans, though, struggle to pay their bills each month.
The President refuses to face the true extent of joblessness in the United States. Its like he buries it with platitudes. He blames the bad economy on everyone and everything except himself.
Perhaps its time for someone new to step up to the plate.