President Barack Obama’s impromptu GOP burn made the headlines for the State of the Union address, but were the president’s claims about economic improvements accurate? Here are some of the victories Obama declared in his SOTU address and how they stack up against hard facts.
Dropping Gas Prices
One claim by President Obama in the SOTU address was that recent drops in gas prices should save families around $750 in 2015. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects gas prices for 2015 to average $2.33 per gallon, which translates to a savings of approximately $750 year by their estimate.
In his SOTU address, Obama also claimed that the federal deficit has been cut by two-thirds. For the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit was reduced by $200 billion to $483 billion. While it’s still a massive deficit to overcome, Obama is ahead of his own schedule, as his 2010 budget estimated that the deficit would be around $535 billion at this time.
Bringing Jobs Back Home
When Obama claimed in his SOTU address that “more than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking to bring jobs back from China,” he was exaggerating the facts a bit. A survey by the Boston Consulting Group showed that while 54 percent of manufacturing companies have expressed interest in returning overseas jobs back to the U.S., only 16 percent are actively bringing jobs back now and 20 percent considering it in the next year. While those are gains over last year, they aren’t more than half “actively” seeking the return of jobs from overseas, as Obama phrased it in the SOTU speech.
Increased Manufacturing Jobs
However, on his claim that manufacturers have added 800,000 jobs, Obama was accurate in the SOTU address. From the economic low point for manufacturing jobs in 2010, approximately 786,000 jobs have been added. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. is still running behind on jobs by about 300,000 since President Obama took office, and a staggering 1.5 million since 2007, during the final months that George W. Bush was in office.
Business Sector Job Growth
Obama’s SOTU address claimed more than 11 million new jobs have been created in the business sector, which Bureau of Labor Statistics figures prove correct for businesses only. There was a slight drop in government jobs, but the net gain for both the business and government sectors is still approximately 10.7 million. And while the manufacturing job claims were based on low point figures during the Obama presidency, the overall number of jobs now shows a net gain of 6.5 million since Obama stepped into the Oval Office.
So what did you think of the SOTU address and is the economy really turning around?
[Photo is official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy via Wikipedia]