Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday continued to blast President Barack Obama by insisting that women account for 92.3 percent of the job losses in his first term, a claim that fact checking organizations have called false or misleading.
Surrounded by a group of women at a business in Hartford, Connecticut, the former Massachusetts governor held up a chart depicting the job losses and accused Obama of setting women "back 20 years."
"These are just some statistics to show just how severe the war on women has been by virtue of the president's failed policies," Romney said. "The number of jobs -- this is an amazing statistic -- the percentage of jobs lost by women in the president's three years -- three and a half years -- 92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women! ... Now the president says, 'Oh, I didn't cause this recession.' That's true. He just made it worse and made it last longer. And because it lasted longer, more and more women lost jobs."
He continued: "What president has the worst record on female labor force participation? Barack Obama! In History! We've gone back 20 years! The progress that has been made of more women getting into the work force has been stepped back 20 years by virtue of this president's policies."
"This president will do in his campaign anything he can to deflect from his record ... [of] 92 percent of the people who have lost their jobs being women in this country. When he says, 'Oh, there's a war on women,' let's bring him back to the fact it is the real war on women that has been waged by his economic policies."
"I want to thank these women for standing here," the candidate added, gesturing to the women on the stage with him. "I appreciate the work that you're doing. I'm going to solicit your help because I need your help to get elected. I need you to vote multiple times. The only way you can do that legally is by talking to your friends and telling them to vote for me."
The Tampa Bay Times fact-checking website, Politifact.com, this week rated the claim that women had experienced 92.3 percent of the job losses during the Obama administration to be "mostly false" because "the numbers are accurate but quite misleading."
"First, Obama cannot be held entirely accountable for the employment picture on the day he took office, just as he could not be given credit if times had been booming," the website noted. "Second, by choosing figures from January 2009, months into the recession, the statement ignored the millions of jobs lost before then, when most of the job loss fell on men."
Politico’s Josh Boak also pointed out last week that job losses for women appeared to be worse than for men during Obama’s presidency because “[a]lmost 3.3 million men were fired during the George W. Bush’s last year in office, while the losses for women were more drawn out over time.”
The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the participation rate of women in the work force is virtually unchanged from 20 years ago. In March of 2012, 57.7 percent of women were in the work force, compared with 57.8 percent in March of 1992. The participation rate has been slowly declining since its peak of 60.3 percent in April of 2000.
During the same 20 year period, the labor participation rate for men has dropped from 75.3 percent to 69.9 percent.