On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity stated that under President George W. Bush, "We created 10 million new jobs, lower unemployment than in the last four decades' average." In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has gained 2,866,000 net private-sector jobs between 2001, when Bush took office, and the first quarter of 2008.
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On the December 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity stated, "We had a good six and a half years with the economy." He later added: "We created 10 million new jobs, lower unemployment than in the last four decades' average." However, Hannity's claim that "10 million new jobs" have been created during the Bush administration is false. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the United States has gained 2,866,000 net private-sector jobs between 2001, when President George W. Bush took office, and the first quarter of 2008. (According to the BLS, the United States has experienced a net loss of private-sector jobs each month since the first quarter of 2008 ended in March.) In contrast with Bush, the United States gained 10,749,000 net private-sector jobs during President Clinton's first term in office, from 1993 through 1996. The U.S. gained 10,270,000 net private-sector jobs during his second term, from 1997 through 2000.
Additionally, Hannity's suggestion that the unemployment rate represents an accomplishment for Bush ignores the fact that the unemployment rate that Bush inherited from Clinton is lower than the average unemployment rate during the Bush years. According to the BLS, the average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate since 2001 is 5.2 percent, which is lower than the average rate for the 1990s, but higher than in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 -- the last four years before Bush took office. According to the BLS, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in November, and the lowest annual unemployment rate under Bush was 4.6 percent in 2006 and 2007, all of which are higher than the unemployment rates in 1998, 1999, and 2000 (4.5 percent, 4.2 percent, and 4.0 percent, respectively).
Indeed, as Media Matters for America has documented, the BLS reports that the annual average unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in 1992, the last full year of President George H.W. Bush's term. The unemployment rate declined every year during Clinton's presidency, falling to 4.5 percent in 1998 and 4.2 percent in 1999 -- both lower than current unemployment.
As Media Matters has also noted, in 2006 Hannity similarly claimed that the unemployment rate at the time was "literally ... lower than the '70s, '80s, and '90s."
From the December 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Dick, if we -- anywhere we look in the world, whenever you have government-controlled economic systems --
DICK MORRIS (Fox News political analyst and syndicated columnist): Yes.
HANNITY: -- you have economic stagnation and you have poverty.
MORRIS: Absolutely. Absolutely.
HANNITY: Is that what America's headed towards?
MORRIS: We're headed toward that. But before we get there we're gonna have massive, unbelievable inflation, because, basically, they're just printing this money, and any semblance of fiscal discipline has completely gone out the window.
Not under Obama's presidency, under Bush's, and a Republican Congress --
MORRIS: -- or Democratic, but with Republicans in it.
HANNITY: Well, I --
MORRIS: And -- and so that we're headed --
HANNITY: We had -- we had good --
MORRIS: -- for massive inflation and stagnation.
HANNITY: We had a good six and a half years with the economy. Let's be honest. He inherited a recession, meaning President Bush.
ALAN COLMES (co-host): No, he didn't.
HANNITY: He -- he inherited a recession.
COLMES: He didn't.
HANNITY: He had the negative impact on the economy on 9-11. We created 10 million new jobs, lower unemployment than in the last four decades' average. We had a lot of good years. There is an ebb and flow to the economy.