October 4, 2012 2:43PM

How Convenient

By Cato Editors

William G. Shipman, co‐​chairman of Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice, notes

If you listened to President Obama during the first presidential debate, you’d think job growth during his presidency has been robust. He stated right up front “Over the last 30 months, we’ve seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created.” Well, 30 months is interesting because he’s been president for 44 months, so what’s happened since he’s been in charge? From January, 2009 through August, 2012, the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, non‐​farm private sector employment has fallen by 261,000 jobs. Federal government employment has risen by 14,000, state government jobs have fallen by 158,000, and local government jobs have fallen by 532,000. Total jobs lost: 937,000. If you cherry‐​pick the data, February, 2010 shows the lowest private‐​sector employment since Obama has been president, down 4,317,000 jobs since his inauguration. So any comparison using that date as the starting point would result in the greatest growth in employment. It’s also 30 months ago from the Bureau’s latest reported data. How convenient to use that date. Do you think the president knew this, or did he forget that he took office in January, 2009? Cherry picking data to cover the reality of overall job losses does not help the American people go back to work, and it certainly doesn’t help the credibility of the President.