Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact: Boehner cherry-picked numbers on federal job growth

The statement

"Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs."

House Speaker John Boehner, Tuesday in a news conference

The ruling

We turned, as we always do, to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official statistician for the U.S. labor force. BLS calculates two categories that illuminate Boehner's comment.

The first is the overall rise in federal employees between January 2009 and January 2011. The net increase was 58,000.

The second is the number of federal employees without counting U.S. Postal Service workers. Over that same two-year period, the increase was 140,800.

Both of those numbers are lower than the 200,000 figure Boehner cited.

We also checked with John M. Palguta, vice president for policy with the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that promotes government service, and he confirmed our general conclusion using numbers from a different database.

He dug into the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's online federal work force data source, "FedScope." He found that in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, respectively, the federal government filled a net 59,995 and 47,062 new permanent, full-time, nonseasonal, nonpostal jobs. Combined, that means that federal employment rose by 107,057 jobs — well short of 200,000.

We checked with Boehner's office to see what his statement was based on. Aides said they had used figures from December 2008 to January 2011, which produced an increase of 153,000 federal, nonpostal jobs. Then they factored in, on a discounted basis, the temporary jobs required to carry out the 2010 census. According to the Census Bureau, such temporary employment peaked at 585,729 in early May 2010. "We think 200,000 is probably generous to the White House," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

In previous fact checks, we have rejected the idea of adding temporary census workers to federal job totals. While the statements we rated previously aren't structured in exactly the same way as Boehner's, we think the general principle remains valid — that when you're counting the rise or fall in the number of federal workers over a long period of time, it's cherry-picking to count the creation of temporary jobs but not their elimination.

We rate this claim False.

For more rulings, go to PolitiFact.com.

PolitiFact: Boehner cherry-picked numbers on federal job growth 02/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wrestling to return to old Tampa armory — but just for one night

    Human Interest

    Times Staff Writer

    TAMPA — For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.

  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

  3. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative

    Blogs

    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to …

  4. Westbound traffic on Courtney Campbell blocked after crash

    Accidents

    Westbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is being diverted following a crash early Thursday morning.

  5. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront

    Business

    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]