The “5.2 Million Job” Invention

Note: 13th in a series on President Obama’s job creation record
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Jobs are the #1 issue in the 2012 elections.

When Joe Biden and Barack Obama start telling little white lies about how many private-sector jobs have been created its almost expected. After all, they are politicians! They are in the midst of a tight presidential race next month. We expect politicians to stretch the truth… and they don’t disappoint.

However, when an economist repeats a politician’s white lie it gives it credibility. It transforms a fabrication into a bald-faced lie. But that is exactly what economist Laura Tyson just did:
Closing America’s Jobs Deficit” – Laura Tyson, Project Syndicate, 10/16/2012

Laura Tyson

In today’s article, right off, she very specifically said:

During the last 31 months, private-sector employment has increased by 5.2 million
– UC Berkeley Economics Professor Laura Tyson

We’ve heard Tyson’s 5.2 million job invention before. Joe Biden first said it in last week’s VP debate.

Economists lacking integrity should be shot, tarred, feathered and run out of the economic world on a slippery rail.

Professor Tyson, Math Lesson Time!!

Private-sector Job Creation over the last 31 months

Laura Tyson is an economics professor at the Haas School of Business at UC, Berkeley. She is former chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. She is no crackpot blogger.

Professor Tyson. Highlighted in yellow above are last month’s private-sector job total and the private-sector job total from 31 months ago. They are seasonally-adjusted numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As you know, that is the accepted source for determining how many private-sector jobs were created in the last 31 months.

Its doubtful any of this is new to you, but here is the math:

111,499,000 – 106,773,000 = 4,726,000 created in the last 31 months

Ask one of your students… that is 4.7 million jobs, not 5.2 million.


First, Barack Obama exaggerates the number of jobs created under his administration in the first presidential debate. Next, Vice-President Joe Biden exaggerates the total even further to 5.2 million in the VP debate.

Now we have a credentialed economist putting legitimacy behind the exact same erroneous number that VP Biden used.

Anyone out there think that a chance, coincidental error happened between Biden and Clinton’s former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers just three weeks before the election?

Its even worse. That distortion gets compounded further. Obama, Biden and Tyson all very well know that the private-sector job number already exaggerates job creation by another 500,000 jobs. Over a half million jobs have been lost in the public-sector over the last 31 months.

Now the misrepresentation has ballooned up to a million non-existent jobs created! Tyson is a disgrace to her profession.

Fabricating truth for political purposes is not the issue here. The issue is denying reality. This economy has permanently lost around 5 million jobs and we must recover them to fix this economy. That’s a fact, Jack! Namby-pamby band-aid solutions won’t cut it.

Do you want a jobs-lost denier or a job creator living in the White House? The choice is yours.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Oct 16, 2012, in 2012 Elections, culture, economics, Job Creation, Jobs, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Why don’t they just report the total number of people working each month and the total number of people eligible to work and show us the differnce.

    • If the “they” you are talking about is the BLS, then the answer is they do report that data in the database links in each Monthly Jobs Report.

      That is where I get all my information.

      If the “they” you are talking about is the news media, then the answer is they do NOT report that. The news media generally drops the ball reporting on the true jobs picture every month and are unlikely to change.

      The news media usually just regurgitates the whitewashed jobs analysis from the BLS designed specifically to put the best light on whatever Administration is in power.

      For the record your two numbers come from the household survey:
      142.9 million working full or part-time
      243.7 million eligible to work

      The difference is around 101 million.

      There are officially 155.0 million actively in the workforce according to the BLS.

  2. In my state, government employment has fallen, especially local. My county in Madison will be down to the number of prosecuting district attorneys it had in 1985 despite the increase in population and the rough and tumble crowd. There are fewer people to go after the thugs and criminals.

    • Public-sector employment has been especially hard hit by an economy that is not recovering very fast. Obama managed to keep growing federal employment for three years, but even that has started to drop now.

      677,000 total public-sector jobs have been lost in the Great Recession.

  1. Pingback: Did Joe Biden Create 5.2 Million Jobs? « Inform The Pundits!

  2. Pingback: Job Creation and President Obama « Inform The Pundits!

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