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"In the first year of the Obama administration, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the Bush administration."

Nancy Pelosi on Monday, May 16th, 2011 in an interview with Bloomberg television

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi resurrected a talking point about job growth under President Barack Obama in a Bloomberg television interview. We checked her math.

During a May 16, 2011, interview with Bloomberg television, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised President Barack ObamaÕs record on jobs while taking a shot at former President George W. Bush.

"We got in this situation where we had tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country, which did not create jobs," she said. "In the first year of the Obama administration, more jobs were created in the private-sector than in the eight years of the Bush administration, with all of the tax cuts that President Bush had."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy shed almost 4.2 million private-sector jobs during the first year of the Obama administration -- January 2009 through January 2010.

Meanwhile, during eight years under Bush, the economy gained a net 188,000 private sector jobs.

So while job growth under Bush was anemic by historical standards, it was still better than the 4.2 million jobs lost under Obama. That means Pelosi was wrong.

A Pelosi spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, told PolitiFact that Pelosi simply misstated a talking point that sheÕd used many times before. In one variation provided by her office, Pelosi sent out a news release that said in part, "America has had 12 consecutive months of private-sector job gains totaling 1.5 million. That is more private-sector jobs than were added in the eight years of the Bush Administration."

But when we checked a similar incarnation of this talking point, we only gave it a Half True -- technically correct, but misleading due to cherry picking.

Pelosi was right that the economy created 847,000 jobs during the period she indicated. But she would have been incorrect if sheÕd cited total employment rather than private-sector employment. And she chose her starting and ending dates in a way that was highly favorable to Obama and unfavorable to Bush. Pelosi essentially started counting from the low point for jobs and only counted the upward part of the trendline, while denying Bush the same method.

This time, in talking to Bloomberg TV, Pelosi didnÕt even get the statistic technically correct. So we rate it False.

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About this statement:

Published: Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 4:20 p.m.

Subjects: Economy, History


Nancy Pelosi, interview with Bloomberg television, May 16, 2011 (CQ subscribers only)

Bureau of Labor Statistics, main search page for employment statistics, accessed May 17, 2011

PolitiFact, "Nancy Pelosi says more private sector jobs created in 2010 than in eight years under Bush," Oct. 26, 2010

PolitiFact, "Congresswoman says Democratic presidents create more private-sector jobs," Jan. 25, 2010

Office of the Democratic Leader, "February Jobs Report Ð GOP ÔSo Be ItÕ Spending Bill Jeopardizes Our Economic Recovery," March 4, 2011

Interview with Nadeam Elshami, spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, May 17, 2011

Researched by: Louis Jacobson

Edited by: Bill Adair