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CNN Truth Squad: Romney vs. Obama on jobs

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 2:23 PM EST, Sun January 8, 2012

Editor's note: Part of the CNN Republican debate fact-checking series

(CNN) -- The statement:

"We created more jobs in Massachusetts than Barack Obama's created in the entire country."

-- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on employment during his 2003-2007 stint in public office, during Sunday's Republican presidential debate on NBC.

The facts:

Romney took office when employment was still lagging following the recession of early 2001. Between January 2003 and February 2004, the state had a net loss of just over 60,000 jobs out of a workforce of about 3.2 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But between February 2004 and January 2007, when he left office, the number had climbed by nearly 107,000 jobs, according to the BLS. That gives Massachusetts a net gain of more than 45,000 jobs during his term.

Obama, meanwhile, took office during the worst slump since the Great Depression, with the nationwide economy shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month. Net losses continued until early 2010, sputtered up and down through the summer of that year and then took off again in the fall.

In 2011, the economy added 1.6 million jobs, according to the BLS. But Obama's record remains in the hole by 2.7 million since taking office, and the economy is adding far fewer jobs currently than it lost in the worst days of the 2007-2009 recession.

The verdict: True, but incomplete. Romney is correct that his single term as governor coincided with a net gain of jobs in Massachusetts, while Obama's presidency remains underwater on that score. But Romney left office before the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy, while Obama took office during a financial free fall.

CNN's Matt Smith and Caitlin Stark contributed to this report.

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