Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, has attacked the notion that President Obama and his policies are creating jobs. On Friday, Welch in a message sent through Twitter accused the administration, referring to it as "these Chicago guys," of changing the number in the monthly jobs report, which showed that the unemployment rate had fallen to the lowest level since Obama took office. In the past, Welch has said that Mitt Romney's business experience makes him more qualified to able to create jobs from the Oval office than Obama.
"Romney oughta' wipe [the election] out," Welch told CNN's Piers Morgan in May. "When you look at [Romney's] qualifications, compare it to someone who was handing out leaflets as a community organizer."
Welch, like Romney, has had a storied business career. Nonetheless, when it comes to job creation, Obama's record appears to far better than the GE executive, who spent two decades on top of the one of the world's largest companies.
GE lost nearly 100,000 jobs while Welch was at the helm of the company -- a tenure that spanned two of the most robust periods of economic growth in American business history. Welch, who along with his wife Suzy has written articles for FORTUNE, took over as CEO of GE in 1981. At the time, the industrial giant had 411,000 employees. When Welch left the company 20 years later, it had just 313,000 employees.
"The effect of Welch's massive restructuring was to put thousands of GE employees out of work," wrote Robert Slater in Jack Welch and the GE Way.
President Obama, on the other hand, since taking office during a financial crisis appears to have been either a modest job creator, or a slight job loser depending on the data you are looking at. In January 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics's survey of individuals, there were just over 142 million people employed in the country. On Friday, the BLS reported that number had risen to nearly 143 million in September, for a gain of about 800,000 jobs, or less than 1%, since Obama became president.
But even if go with the BLS's other survey, the one that polls employers, which some economists say is more narrow because it misses, for example, people who are self-employed, the economy has only lost 61,000 jobs under Obama, which still beats Welch's record at GE.
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