RNC Ad Takes Issue With Harry Reid’s Public vs. Private Sector Jobs Claim

The RNC is out with an ad highlighting remarks made by Sen. Harry Reid on the floor yesterday (I have provided the context for the clip right below the ad):


Here’s the link if your browser has trouble with the embed:


Reid’s unedited remarks:

“The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today — of course they’re rooted in the last administration — and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation’s all about. And it’s unfortunate my friend the Republican Leader is complaining about that. I would also note that my friend said the House passed another bill. Well, they pass lots of bills, but they rarely go anyplace.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 10/19/11)

Couple notes, Dear Readers (some of these numbers gleaned from this analysis):

According to the most recent estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 21,985, 000 government employees. The last time we were near that number was 2006. The number of public employees peaked at 22,980,000 in May of 2010, some of it due to Census-related hiring (estimates at the time were that the Census would create roughly one million temporary jobs). The total was estimated at 22,582,000 when Obama took office. Bottom line, over the past few years, the total number has hovered right around 22-23 million with differences of no greater than one million between the high and low points. By percentage, that’s about a 4.5 percent loss from peak to low.

The most recent total number of private-sector employees (from September) was 109,349,000, with a peak in January 2008 at 115,610,000. The most recent low was 106,772,000 in February of 2010. So:  the difference between the most recent peak to the most recent low: 8,817,000 (and presently we are about 6 million away from the peak). By percentage, that’s about an 8.2 point loss from peak to low.

Politifact dug up some numbers and weighed in on this, too, if you want to take a look at their assessment.

Update/note:  Reid’s remarks relate to a jobs bill you can read about here.