At a recent press briefing, Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest was seen boasting that Obama “created 805,000 manufacturing jobs” since he became president. But fact checkers are throwing a flag on that claim.
Sometimes being the PR flack for a president is tough work, especially when your president is Barack Obama. Josh Earnest’s latest claim is causing fact checkers to choke on their morning coffee.
During his Thursday presser, Earnest quipped that Obama’s jobs record puts Trump’s Carrier deal to shame.
“There were 805, 000 manufacturing jobs, that weren’t just protected, or saved, but actually created while President Obama was in office,” Earnest said.
Earnest made the claim after dismissing Trump’s deal to keep Carrier Corp. in the U.S.A., and told the press that the president-elect would have to do it 804 more times to meet Obama’s ‘high’ standard.
White House says President-elect Trump needs 804 more Carrier deals to match President Obama's jobs record pic.twitter.com/hZwCxWOngp
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) December 1, 2016
But, as Politifact points out, the truth is different from how Earnest made it sound. In fact we have a net loss of manufacturing jobs during Obama’s eight-year stint in the White House, not a gain of 805,000.
Politifact, who gave Obama a “broken promise” rating on the subject, looked into a previous Obama claim that he’d create one million manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016. The fact checker noted that “statistics fall short on both manufacturing jobs, exports.”
Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that between the time Obama made that promise, amid the 2012 campaign, and October 2016, the number of manufacturing jobs rose by 297,000. That’s well below 1 million.
And you can’t get to 1 million even if you use time frames that are generous to Obama.
If you start from the beginning of Obama’s term — which started in a severe economic downturn — the number of manufacturing jobs is actually down by about 303,000.
Here’s how Earnest got the 805,000 number (also from Politifact):
And if you start counting net gains in manufacturing jobs from their lowest point in early 2010, the gains are strongest, but it’s only an increase of 805,000 — still short of 1 million.
I think this is what they call “fuzzy math.”
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