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Truth Squad: Steve Jobs' jobs vs. Obama's jobs

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:10 AM EST, Wed January 25, 2012

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

(CNN) -- In a rebuttal to the State of the Union address, Republicans gave the late Steve Jobs credit for creating more jobs than the stimulus bill Tuesday.

The statement: "Contrary to the president's constant disparagement of people in business, it's one of the noblest of human pursuits. The late Steve Jobs -- what a fitting name he had -- created more of them than all those stimulus dollars the president borrowed and blew." --Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, in the Republican rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

The facts:

Despite its creative influence and design innovations, computer manufacturer Apple, which Jobs founded in the 1970s, remains relatively small compared to some of its U.S. rivals.

The difficult side of Steve Jobs

Apple employs about 60,000 workers, according to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That's up from fewer than 9,000 in 2000, before Jobs launched the company into the consumer electronics business.

By comparison, Hewlett-Packard, the largest U.S. computer maker, has just under 350,000 people on its payroll; Dell, the second-largest, has more than 103,000.

Republican critics like Daniels argue the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the 2009 stimulus bill Obama pushed through Congress after taking office, failed to create any jobs. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the number of jobs created by the $800 billion-plus measure at 1.4 million to 3.3 million.

The verdict: False. Steve Jobs was an early pioneer of an industry that has reshaped much of American life, but the company he founded remains a fairly lean operation. And while stimulus money hasn't plugged the entire hole left by the 2007-2009 recession, the lowest nonpartisan estimate of its impact is more than 20 times Apple's current work force.

CNN's Matt Smith and Emily Smith contributed to this report.

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