False
Simas
Job growth in the United States is now at the "fastest pace in this country's history."

David Simas on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 in an interview on CNN's "New Day"

White House aide says job growth now at 'fastest pace in this country's history'

White House aide David Simas made a claim about job growth under President Barack Obama during a March 18 appearance on CNN's 'New Day.'

With the economy finally seeming to turn a corner, the Obama administration has been more aggressive recently about touting its accomplishments in creating jobs. But a claim made by one White House official recently was novel enough to catch our attention.

The claim was made on CNN’s New Day by David Simas, the assistant to the president and director of the White House’s office of political strategy and outreach.

"We're more than happy to compare the record of this administration over the past six years that inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and is in the fifth year of record job creation, which is the fastest pace in this country's history," Simas told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

Is job growth at the "fastest pace in this country's history"? We took a closer look. We found that he actually had mangled his talking point: He meant to talk about how many months of consistent growth there’s been, not how fast the pace is. We’ll look at both metrics.

Because the current recovery began 69 months ago, we looked at total job gains during the first 69 months of each of the previous recoveries, going back to World War II. (Employment data is not easily comparable further back than that.) We ignored the first dip of the double-dip recession in the early 1980s; we counted only from the end of the second dip.

Here are the results:

End month of recession

Percent increase in nonfarm employment in first 69 months from end of recession

October 1945

25 percent

October 1949

18 percent

May 1954

11 percent

April 1958

12 percent

February 1961

21 percent

November 1970

13 percent

March 1975

18 percent

November 1982

19 percent

March 1991

11 percent

November 2001

5 percent

June 2009

8 percent

This shows that far from being the "fastest" job growth in history, the pace of growth after the Great Recession was actually the second slowest out of these 11 time periods.

"I don't see any way to claim that the speed of growth in this recovery, even recently, is any kind of record," said Tara Sinclair, a George Washington University economist.

Indeed, that's how many Americans seem to feel about the current recovery.

"Accounting for the severity of the recession, the speed of the jobs rebound was disappointing, especially in the first three or so years of the recovery," said Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution.

So what’s going on?

The White House told PolitiFact that Simas was referring to something else -- that the ongoing streak of 60 months of private-sector job growth is the longest on record.

Here, the White House has a point. Sinclair agreed that the United States is currently enjoying the "longest string of consistently positive monthly job growth since the payroll employment data we typically rely on began being reported in 1939. The late 1980s comes close, but there was a pesky one-month fall in employment in June 1986. Similarly, in the 1990s, there were a couple of small dips."

Overall, it’s the duration of this recovery -- rather than the rate of growth for job creation -- that has made it impressive.

Our ruling

Simas said job growth in the United States is now at the "fastest pace in this country's history."

He would have been right if he’d stuck to the duration of the recovery: At 60 months and counting, it’s the longest post-war recovery, though earlier recoveries would have been longer had brief blips not intruded. However, looking at how Simas phrased it on CNN, he’s wrong: The current recovery actually ranks second-to-last among post-World War II recoveries when judged by the rate of growth in jobs. We rate the claim False.