Revised jobs numbers released Thursday found that 386,000 more jobs were created since 2011 than the government had previously reported — a figure that means more jobs have been created than lost on balance during President Obama’s first term.
That politically sensitive threshold has been at the center of the presidential debate. While it has little economic relevance, its political significance has been substantial, with Mitt Romney’s campaign regularly reminding voters that there has been a net loss of jobs since Obama took office.
Earlier this month on MSNBC, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said President Obama “hasn’t created one single net new job since he’s been president.”
The claim, though lacking some context, was true in a literal sense and served as an enticing line of attack for the Romney campaign, fueling his narrative that Obama has failed to substantially improve the economy.
But the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that it had under-counted private sector net job growth from April 2011 through March 2012 by 453,000, and over-counted new government jobs by 67,000. That’s 386,000 net new jobs created — enough to put Obama into positive net job growth territory since taking office, a time when the economy was in free fall.
In January 2009, the United States had 133,561,000 total non-farm payrolls. The revised BLS figures put him into positive territory by July 2012, when the number is now deemed to have been 133,631,000.
(Photo Credit: Brett Marty Photography)
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.