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. How did Florida National Guard miss soldier's neo-Nazi leanings?

    Military

    Brandon Russell, a private first class assigned to Company C of the 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Pinellas Park, has been in the Florida National Guard since February, 2016.

    Brandon Russell, 21, of Tampa, is a Florida National Guardsman accused in a federal complaint of illegal possession of explosives. [From YouTube]
  2. New stores coming to Tyrone Square Mall, like Bath & Body Works

    Retail

    Tyrone Square Mall will welcome a half dozen new stores, like Bath & Body Works and MidiCi's The Neapolitan Pizza Company, this summer.

  3. Wilson Ramos feeling good and confident, eyeing late June return to Rays

    Blogs

    Sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout in his full catcher's gear, Wilson Ramos talked excitedly Tuesday about the progress in his recovery from right knee surgery and the potential to be back in the major leagues by this time next month.

    "I feel like a player right now,'' Ramos said.

    Wilson Ramos is aiming to be back with the Rays by this time next month.
  4. Hernando teacher faces sexual battery charges

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Deputies arrested a teacher on charges of sexual battery Tuesday, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

  5. Drought forces tougher watering restrictions on Tampa Bay

    Water

    Homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will be limited to watering their lawns only once a week under new, tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

    A fallen pine tree burns and smolders in a section of pine flatwoods earlier this month in the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County. Drought conditions have helped spark wildfires across the state. Now homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will face tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]