Thursday, April 19, 2018
Business

PolitiFact: Shot at Obama over men's job gains misses mark

The statement

"Of all the jobs President Obama claims to have created since he started, only 38.5 percent are women. So 61.5 percent have gone to men."

Eric Bolling, April 8 on Fox News' The Five

The ruling

We turned to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal office that calculates employment data.

We looked at the gender breakdowns for the increase in employed Americans between January 2009, when Obama took office, and March 2014, the most recent month for which data is available.

By the numbers, Bolling was on the mark. During that period, the number of men holding jobs increased by a little more than 2.2 million, while the number of women holding jobs rose by a bit less than 1.4 million. So 61 percent of the increase in employment during that period was accounted for by men.

We also checked the period between July 2009 — the official end of the last recession — and March 2014. We found that the men's share of added jobs was even higher for this period, at 65 percent.

We also confirmed that this proportion of men isn't just simply a reflection of the overall gender makeup of employment in the United States. Over the period we were looking at, the universe of employed Americans has broken down pretty consistently — 53 percent men, 47 percent women. So for 61 percent of job gains to go to men is a disproportionate share.

Now, there is an explanation for the male-centric nature of job creation during the recovery, and it doesn't have much, if anything, to do with Obama.

Put simply, the recession was a "man-cession" — meaning that men were hit disproportionately. And given that, it's not surprising at all that the recovery has been something of a "man-covery."

During the recession — from December 2007 to July 2009 — the number of men working fell by almost 4.7 million, but the number of women working fell by a much smaller number, about 1.7 million.

In other words, during the recession, 74 percent of the job losses came from jobs held by men. And the fact that men are now getting 61 percent of the newly created jobs means they're actually not even regaining jobs at a rate high enough to wipe out the losses they suffered during the recession.

So Bolling is right on the numbers, but as a shot against Obama, the claim rings somewhat hollow. The male tilt to job gains during Obama's presidency follows a strong pattern of male job losses in the months of the recession before Obama took office.

The claim is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. So we rate it Half True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PunditFact.com.

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