The misguided argument over ‘net’ jobs

Updated
 
The misguided argument over 'net' jobs
The misguided argument over 'net' jobs

This again?

One claim Republicans make to support their proposition that the country’s worse off than it was “four years ago” is that there are fewer jobs in America today than there were when President Obama took office.

“[H]e hasn’t created one single net new job since he’s been president,” Mitt Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on msnbc Tuesday afternoon.

If the Romney campaign insists on doing this again, fine, let’s go ahead and do this again.

Mitt Romney recently said it’s only fair to give a new president “at least six months or a year” to get put together an economic plan, assemble a team, and put his or her “policies in place.” With that in mind, if we acknowledge President Obama took office in the midst of catastrophic conditions that weren’t his fault, and we don’t include his first year against him, 3.88 million jobs – and 4.44 million private-sector jobs – have been created in less than three years.

That’s not using Obama’s standard; that’s using Romney’s standard.

The only way Team Romney’s talking point makes sense is if you include job losses that happened immediately after Obama became president – an argument Romney himself once dismissed as “silly” – and include public-sector job losses that Republicans say they support.

What’s more, if we’re only measuring employment by total non-farm payrolls, we’re already above where we were in January 2009.

Besides, this is a GOP talking point with a shelf life – barring a sharp deterioration in the U.S. economy, Obama’s “net” job totals will enter positive territory no matter when one starts the clock.

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The misguided argument over 'net' jobs

Updated