In a statement purporting to show “the facts,” Fox & Friends cherry picked Bureau of Labor Statistics data to attack a recent statement by Obama that manufacturing jobs have improved.
In a July 5 speech in Ohio, Obama pointed out that the manufacturing sector job growth is rising at a rate comparable to the 1990s and that while there was still much to do, the sector was recovering.
But after claiming that Obama's assessment is “not the facts,” Fox & Friends used incomplete BLS data to claim that since Obama took office 599,000 manufacturing jobs were lost, including 17,600 in Ohio. By throwing those numbers out there, devoid of any sort of context, the co-hosts muddied the water and Obama's record:
The below graphical representation of manufacturing data, provided by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, provides the context that Fox & Friends ignored: that the manufacturing job losses were declining before Obama took office and have started gaining again under his administration:
The missing context in Fox & Friends' attack, is the same missing context they've used before to attack the president on his jobs record. The job losses to which Fox & Friends point occurred almost entirely following the economic downturn that officially started in December 2007. In June of 2009, shortly after the federal government rescued the automotive industry, jobs in the manufacturing sector started to grow. From the official end of the recession in June 2009 to May 2012, the manufacturing sector has added 228,000 jobs.
Besides failing to mention the recession that Obama inherited, and the fact that this inherited recession mostly occurred during the presidency of his predecessor, Goerge W. Bush, Fox & Friends failed to note that the manufacturing job losses suffered under the Obama administration was the continuation of a trend that occurred under the Bush administration. As the above graph shows, a huge number of manufacturing jobs were lost during the Bush presidency, even during a time when the economy experienced weak growth, but growth nonetheless. During his presidency, nearly 4.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost. These job losses led The Wall Street Journal to call Bush's history of job creation “the worst track record on record.”
The manufacturing sector job collapse trend has reversed during the Obama presidency. In fact Obama is right that current job growth in the manufacturing sector is comparable to the job growth during the 1990s, the last time the manufacturing sector enjoyed job growth. As the above graph shows, during the Clinton presidency 282,000 manufacturing jobs were created, which compares favorably to the 228,000 manufacturing jobs created since the end of the most recent recession.
In Ohio, the trend is comparable:
According the BLS, since the official end of the most recent recession, Ohio has added 43,800 jobs to its manufacturing sector. During the Bush administration, Ohio's manufacturing sector lost over 315 thousand jobs.
Fox & Friends rarely misses an opportunity to deny the successes of Obama, even when empiricism would suggest otherwise. This is only the most recent example.