“Do you know what percent of job losses in the Obama years have been casualties of women losing jobs as opposed to men?” Mitt Romney said when campaigning in Delaware yesterday. “92.3 percent of the job losses during the Obama years have been women who lost those jobs. The real war on women has been the job losses as a result of the Obama economy.”
Is that true? Yes. Here’s how the Romney campaign reached that number, per an aide:
Women Account For 92.3 Percent Of The Jobs Lost Under Obama. (“Current Employment Statistics,” BLS, Accessed 4/6/12)
· Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs
o January 2009: 133.561 Million.
o March 2012: 132.821 Million.
o Net: -740 Thousand.
· Total Female Nonfarm Payroll Jobs
o January 2009: 66.122 Million.
o March 2012: 65.439 Million.
o Net: -683 Thousand.
Politifact, while admitting the Romney campaign’s numbers are correct, nevertheless rates the claim “mostly false,” on contextual grounds, arguing that (a) it’s unfair to start the month Obama was inaugurated since his policies hadn’t been enacted yet and (b) the reason women’s jobs losses are so high during Obama’s term is because most men’s jobs lost were lost before Obama took office (overall, women lost around 40 percent of the jobs lost in the recession).
In a conference call this morning, the Romney campaign defended their use of the number. “The first point that folks seem want to make about this number is that we shouldn’t start counting from the start of the President’s administration,” said the campaign’s policy director Lanhee Chen. “And what I would suggest is that the President should stop blaming other people and start accepting responsibility for the fact that they’ve done a tremendous amount of damage to American women in this economy.”
“They seem to suggest,” Chen added in reference to critics, “that somehow this is a pattern that is regularized in recessions when, in fact, I would challenge any analyst to find a 38 month period that’s been as difficult on women as has the 38 month period in which we’ve been above 8 percent unemployment. So obviously we’re of the mind that a different set of policies would produce a different set of outcomes.”
UPDATE: Chen has sent a letter to Politifact asking them to retract the “mostly false” rating, reports Huffington Post.