Contact Meet The Press via Twitter

Tag: Employment

The following is a fact-check from the July 18, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:


1) Last week’s Washington Post/ABC News poll indicated that respondents had less confidence in Congressional Republicans than Democrats – TRUE

2) Over the course of the Bush [43] administration 600,000 private sector jobs were lost – TRUE

REP. VAN HOLLEN: Well, David, if you look at that Washington Post/ABC poll, the most, I think, interesting fact that came out of it, and the one that was right on the front page, was the fact that the American people have a lot less confidence in Republicans in Congress than they do in Democrats in Congress, and that’s not surprising. It’s pretty fresh in their memory exactly what those Republican policies did to the economy. After all, during the whole eight years of the Bush administration, we actually lost over 600,000 private sector jobs.

1) We tracked down the Washington Post/ABC News poll and according to their statistics, 75% don’t trust the Republicans in Congress to make the right decisions for the country’s future. 24 percent do, which is up 5 points from October. 68% don’t trust decision-making by the Democrats in Congress, up 12 points since January. Distrust is high in both parties, but since the distrust is higher for the Republicans (75%) than the Democrats (68%), we rate Rep. Van Hollen’s statement TRUE.

2) According to the BLS seasonally adjusted figures, there were 111,624,000 people employed in the private sector at the end of February 2001, and 110,961,000 people at the end of January 2009. That’s a total decrease of 663,000 jobs. Although, there is a disparity of 63,000 jobs between the actual number and Rep. Van Hollen’s statement, he understated the number, which works against his interests.  Thus, we rate Rep. Van Hollen’s statement TRUE.

Special thanks to crowd-sourcer Shelley for assisting with this fact-check.

This fact-check took a combined 1.5 hours.

The following is a fact-check from the July 11, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:

ED GILLESPIE (Republican Strategist)

1) After the Bush administration tax cuts, there were 52 months of continuous job creation – TRUE

2) 52 months of job creation is the largest such period in American history – TRUE

MR. GILLESPIE: Well, my point was not wanting to go back to the math because the fact is, under the Bush tax cuts, we did have 52 months of–in uninterrupted job creation, longest in the history of the country…

According to both CBS News and, jobs were created for an uninterrupted period of 52 months from August 2003 to December 2007, which was indeed a record for consecutive job growth in the U.S. But as points out, looking only at this record could be misleading, for while it is indeed the longest consecutive period of job creation, the number of jobs created during that period was not especially large. 8.3 million jobs were added between August 2003 and December 2007, but over the course of the Clinton administration, for instance, 22.7 million jobs were added during a period when there were also seven months which included declines (thus making that growth non-continuous). Therefore it would be difficult to argue that this was either a period of particularly substantial job creation or that the record continuity of that creation was ultimately more significant. It’s also not clear what role the Bush tax cuts had to play with regards to the job creation rate.

1) Because Mr. Gillespie’s statement that there were 52 months of continuous job creation is technically true, we must rate it TRUE – but believe that the overall context is somewhat misleading.

2) We rate Mr. Gillespie’s statement that the 52 month growth period was the largest in American history TRUE.

This fact-check took a combined 3 hours.

FACT-CHECK: Jonathan Alter on Employment Numbers

The following is a fact-check of the May 16, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:

Jonathan Alter (Newsweek) | In Jan 2009 the US economy was losing 740K jobs a month, and now it is gaining 250K jobs a month. MOSTLY TRUE

MR. ALTER: When Barack Obama came to office, the economy was losing 740,000 jobs a month in January of 2009. We’re now adding about 250,000 jobs a month

From crowd-sourcer Joshua:

Regarding Jonathan Alter’s comment re jobs lost/gained, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that non-farm payroll employment fell by 598,000 in January 2009 (see…). For context, it had fallen by 524,000 in December 2008 (…) and would fall by 651,000 in February 2009 (…).

As for how it is doing now, the BLS figures show that non-farm payroll employment fell by 36,000 in February 2010 (…), increased by 162,000 in March 2010 (…), and increased again by 290,000 in April 2010 (…).

Therefore although Mr. Alter’s numbers are somewhat off, the ballpark is correct and the difference does not change the overall point he was trying to make. The statement gets a MOSTLY TRUE.

The fact-checking of this statement took a combined 20 minutes.