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Hullabaloo


Sunday, November 01, 2015

 
Fiorina's latest whopper

by digby

She sort of admitted it today:

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina acknowledged that she was incorrect during last week’s primary debate when she claimed “92 percent of the jobs lost during [President] Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women.”

After the debate, fact checkers pointed out Fiorina had recycled the statistic from former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who first made the claim in the 2012 election. It rated “Mostly False” by Politifact four years ago.

"I misspoke on that particular fact," Fiorina said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Until now, Fiorina has defended her use of the "92 percent" figure as accurate.

But she also kept on with the misleading nonsense anyway:

“The fact-checkers are correct," she said. “The 92 percent -- it turns out -- was the first three and a half years of [President] Barack Obama’s term and in the final six months of his term things improved,” she said Sunday.


Here's the Fact Check which explains that the men had already lost their jobs under George W. Bush's Great Recession when Obama took office. Honestly, the this person is addicted to peddling bullshit. Of course in that she's no different than the rest of them, she's just more emphatic about it:

Romney’s campaign pointed to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment figures from January 2009, when Obama took office, and March 2012, for all employees and for female employees.

Here they are:

* Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs:

January 2009: 133,561,000

March 2012: 132,821,000

Net loss: 740,000 jobs.

* Total Female Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

January 2009: 66,122,000

March 2012: 65,439,000

Net loss: 683,000 jobs.

They then divided the net loss among women by the total net loss and came up with 92.3 percent.

Beyond the numbers

The first problem we find with Saul’s tweet is that it begins counting job losses the first month Obama was in office. We have taken points off previous claims for blaming officeholders for situations that existed at the beginning of their administrations, before their policies have had time to take effect. One could reasonably argue that January 2009 employment figures are more a result of President George W. Bush’s policies, at least as far as any president can be blamed or credited for private-sector hiring.

We reached out to Gary Steinberg, spokesman for the BLS, for his take on the claim. He pointed out that women’s job losses are high for that period of time because millions of men had already lost their jobs. Women were next.

"Between January 2009 and March 2012 men lost 57,000 jobs, while women lost 683,000 jobs. This is the reverse of the recession period of December 2007-June 2009 (with an overlap of six months) which saw men lose 5,355,000 jobs and women lose 2,124,000 jobs," Steinberg told us in an email.

So timing was important. And if you count all those jobs lost beginning in 2007, women account for just 39.7 percent of the total.

Gary Burtless, a labor market expert with the Brookings Institution, explained the gender disparity.

"I think males were disproportionately hurt by employment losses in manufacturing and especially construction, which is particularly male-dominated. A lot of job losses in those two industries had already occurred before Obama took office," he said. "Industries where women are more likely to be employed – education, health, the government – fared better in terms of job loss. In fact, health and education employment continued to grow in the recession and in the subsequent recovery. Government employment only began to fall after the private economy (and private employment) began growing again."

(Burtless contributed $750 to Obama’s campaign in 2011. However, in 2008 he provided advice on aspects of labor policy to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and he has worked as a government economist and served on federal advisory panels under presidents of both parties.)

Betsey Stevenson, a business and public policy professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and visiting economics professor at Princeton University, who previously served as chief economist for Obama’s labor secretary, also pointed out that "in every recession men’s job loss occurs first and most, with unemployment rates for men being more cyclical than those of women’s."

She added that many of women's job losses have been government jobs -- teachers and civil servants -- which have been slower to come back because they require greater government spending.

So have Obama's policies been especially bad for women?

Said Stevenson: "I don’t think you could point to a single piece of evidence that the pattern of job loss: men first then women, is due to the president’s policies. It’s a historical pattern that has held in previous recessions."

Our ruling

Romney's website said that women account for 92.3 percent of jobs lost under Obama.

By comparing job figures with January 2009 and March 2012 and weighing them against women’s job figures from the same periods, Saul came up with 92.3 percent. The numbers are accurate but quite misleading. First, Obama cannot be held entirely accountable for the employment picture on the day he took office, just as he could not be given credit if times had been booming. Second, by choosing figures from January 2009, months into the recession, the statement ignored the millions of jobs lost before then, when most of the job loss fell on men. In every recession, men are the first to take the hit, followed by women. It's a historical pattern, Stevenson told us, not an effect of Obama's policies.

There is a small amount of truth to the claim, but it ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

Update: She went on Fox News Sunday and said that this was the a liberal media plot to discredit the messenger. Never say she doesn't know how to play to an audience.