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Romney Infographic: “Women & The Obama Economy”

The Romney campaign is pushing back on the “Republican War on Women” meme with this infographic on “Women & The Obama Economy.”

Women And The Obama Economy [Infographic]

First, let me stipulate, as I have on pretty much every blog post on the subject regardless of who’s sitting in the White House, that I think the president has a negligible impact on the economy. Second, since one presumes that most of the lost employment took place early in Obama’s presidency, thus before his policies could be enacted, much less take hold, President Obama likely deserves especially little blame for job losses. Third, I can’t off the top of my head think of any Obama economic policies that should have been disproportionately bad for women’s employment.

So, as political science or economic analysis goes, the infographic is not particularly compelling. It is, however, spectacularly good politics. Candidate Obama leveraged the horrible economy of the tail end of the Bush Administration to lambaste John McCain and continues to claim that “Republicans drove the economy into a ditch.” Turnabout is fair play.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Console says:

    I think it’s actually pretty poorly done. The big numbers require too much incredulity (92.5 percent won’t pass any smell test) and the rest of the numbers are more meh than anything. Anytime you’re pointing out a 1.1 percent rise in something… you’re grasping. He’d have been better off saying there was a 15 percent rise in unemployment among women, than saying things went from 7 to 8.1.

    If the jobs numbers keep up, half those stats will be trash by this summer anyways. Why stick your candidate with a talking point that might not even exist by the time the election actually heats up?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  2. PD Shaw says:

    I think the stat is interesting from an economics perspective. Team Obama’s response is that all of the men lost their jobs before Obama took office. Assuming that is true, what are the factors that make women’s unemployment a more lagging indicator than men’s?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Meanwhile conservative Republican state legislatures across the country are falling all over themselves in a rush to pass legislation to severely restrict a woman’s right to control her reproductive health choices.

    I think the simple message that conservatives, through their public comments in the past 3 months, are generally not sympathetic to women’s reproductive health choices, resonates far more with female voters that reminding those same women that the 2008 crash (prior to Obama’s inauguration) caused a rise in unemployment among women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  4. Eric says:

    The one stat that I have a hard time believing is that women accounted for over 92% of the jobs lost under Obama. That number just seems way too high and disproportional to the jobs lost in total at first glance. It may be true, but it just seems way off for it to be statistical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Meghan says:

    And yet the Romney campaign couldn’t articulate an opinion on the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxl05HYTCZ0&feature=youtu.be

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Like any other discussion about the labor markets part of the problem here is that there are different measurement metrics and each uses its own terminologies.

    It actually is correct that 92+ percent of the payroll job losses since Jan. 2009 have been women. That’s the establishment survey. With the household survey, however, which measures unemployment rates, and which takes into account non-payroll employment, the male vs. female dichotomy is quite different. Unemployment rates for men since Jan. 2009 far have exceeded the corresponding unemployment rates for women, and that especially was the case in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

    That all said, I believe Team Romney is making a huge mistake in addressing the issue of the labor markets from the standpoint of gender. All that does is move the issue from the realm of objective fact into the realm of subjective, identity-based politics. Identity-based politics is the raison d’etre of the Democrat Party and its supporters. It’s impossible to “win” a debate with Democrats when the parameters of the debate are items such as gender, race, age, etc. Democrats will win every time. It allows them constantly to bait and switch and to move goalposts.

    Team Romney needs to switch gears. The salient and effective points are that the job markets subjectively are weak to horrible by every objective measure (unemployment rates, wage growth, payroll job gains), despite the Feds since 2009 having thrown trillions of taxpayer dollars at the economy.

    Reagan didn’t beat Carter by asking women if they were better off than they were four years prior, and Romney sure as hell is no Reagan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. David M says:

    Without comparison to the overall numbers, I’m not sure it amounts to much, and I have to agree with Eric that the 92% number doesn’t seem realistic. I’m going to guess there’s something else affecting those numbers, or they are using some ridiculous method to arrive at that result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. mantis says:

    Team Obama’s response is that all of the men lost their jobs before Obama took office.

    Actually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics made that claim, and the data the Romney campaign dishonestly cites is from the BLS as well.

    Assuming that is true, what are the factors that make women’s unemployment a more lagging indicator than men’s?

    Women make up large majorities of workers in the teaching, health and social services sectors. Those are the areas of the economy that have been devastated by public sector layoffs the states enacted due to the recession. Obama and the Democrats fought to save more of those jobs, but Republicans have largely thwarted those efforts at every turn (thankfully the stimulus, small is was, made it through or it would have been much worse). In any case, the recession caused those layoffs, which affected women more. Construction and manufacturing, male-dominated professions, took the hit in 2008. State budgets took the hit later (even later than they would have without the stimulus to bridge the gaps short term). Women’s jobs were expendable to the states to balance their budgets. That’s also the reason why many jobs for men have come back, while women in the areas funded by state budgets have not. The private sector has been growing, while the public sector has been cutting jobs like crazy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. J-Dub says:

    1. Construction jobs were the first to go.
    2. Men make more money than women. If your company is trying to save money then firing the men first would make sense.
    3. Public sector jobs hung on a little longer, favoring women for a while
    4. Women are the last to go because nobody wants to fire a woman. They start crying and it becomes very awkward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  10. Ben says:

    I can only speak anecdotally, so you can safely ignore everything I’m about to say. But my wife worked for the state of MA, in an office that was 90% women. Their round of layoffs didn’t begin until mid 2010. Whereas my two male friends that lost their jobs (one in construction, one in tech) lost them in the winter of ’08/09.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Hey Norm says:

    Total bunk.
    First…Romney needs to explain why, if this is true, is the participation of women in the workforce at near record highs?
    Second…most of the women that lost jobs were because of Teacher lay-offs…you know…small government. Obama proposed legislation to help States hire teachers and Republicans opposed it.
    And finally…Romney is making a big mistake by letting Obama set the agenda of the campaign…but I’m OK with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Hey Norm says:

    Two times Obama called for helping State and Local governments save Education jobs…predominately held by women.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/13/Time-for-Bold-Action-to-Save-Teachers-Jobs
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/obama-jobs-plan-american-jobs-act_n_958958.html
    Of course Republicans opposed those efforts…because they believe austerity during a recovery is the key to massive growth.
    It’s a good strategy if you can fool the public…oppose any attempts to help the economy…and then blame the weak economy on Obama. Bet on failure. Mitch McConnell and Limbaugh have both been open about the strategy.
    It’s Obama’s job to show the public what’s going on. If he can’t do that…then the grifters Republicans win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. anjin-san says:

    So the Romney counter to the buzz about a GOP “war on women” is to tell women Romney thinks they are gullible?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. anjin-san says:

    It is, however, spectacularly good politics.

    I’m really looking forward to months of you telling us what a cool cat Romney really is. Given how few episodes we get of the good TV shows in a season now days (Justified wrapped last night), we badly need additional quality entertainment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. An Interested Party says:

    It is, however, spectacularly good politics.

    Really? Even if those statistics can be very easily be explained by…

    Women make up large majorities of workers in the teaching, health and social services sectors. Those are the areas of the economy that have been devastated by public sector layoffs the states enacted due to the recession. Obama and the Democrats fought to save more of those jobs, but Republicans have largely thwarted those efforts at every turn…

    Sorry, but your pro-Romney bias seems to be clouding your judgment about what is supposedly “good politics”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. Brummagem Joe says:

    So, as political science or economic analysis goes, the infographic is not particularly compelling. It is, however, spectacularly good politics.

    Actually it was spectacularly bad politics since it was shot down within hours of it’s appearance. As numerous commenters have pointed out in fact men have lost three times as many jobs as women since the start of the recession in December 2007. Then Romney muffed his stance on equal pay for women. Was this the JJ who only a couple days ago dismissed the Buffett rule as an election gimmick that wouldn’s have any impact. LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0