Reality Check

BILL CLINTON BOASTS frequently about all the good economic news that has surfaced since he took office--especially glimmers of hope in the high-wage manufacturing sector. And in a particularly upbeat White House speech on Aug. 2, he noted that while 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost during the Bush years, "Now we have 104,000 more than we had on the day I was inaugurated."

IN REALITY, Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that the number of manufacturing jobs has continued to shrink, from 18,094,000 in January, 1993, when Clinton became President, to 18,038,000 in June, 1994, the latest month available--a drop of 56,000 jobs. It seems that Clinton was using a preliminary estimate for January, 1993, that was too low and would indeed indicate an uptick. Although those numbers were revised months ago, the President continued to trumpet the old statistic. "Check your in-box, Mr. President," chides Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour. Still, the Clinton loss is peanuts compared with the 3.2 million manufacturing jobs lost since 1979.

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