The central piece of evidence in Mitt Romney’s charge that President Obama is waging a “war on women” is that “92 percent of the jobs lost under this president where lost by women,” as he said this week. The figure is highly misleading and has been debunked as “mostly false” by Politifact (twice), the Washington Post’s fact checker, the AP, and even the rabidly conservative Daily Caller.
As ThinkProgress noted, this charge may backfire on Romney as most of the jobs lost by women during the recession were in the public sector, where women are over-represented and Republicans across the country are seeking to make cuts.
Now, the Atlantic’s Jordan Weissmann brings some more data from the Roosevelt Institute to flush this out. Sixty-four percent of the jobs lost by women in the recession came from the public sector, and over 70 percent of public sector losses came from Republican-controlled states pushing austerity budgets:
40.5 percent of all state and local government job losses occurred in places where Republicans won control of the legislature in 2010. … Meanwhile, another 31 percent of those government jobs vanished in Texas. … All other states combined accounted for just 28 percent of state and local layoffs.
Many of these Republican governors slashing their workforces are among Romney’s biggest supporters, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who has campaigned for Romney. Christie has cut tens of thousands of government jobs during his tenure and women make up 56 percent of the state workforce, and probably an even higher percentage of local government employees. So Christie’s layoffs likely disproportionately impacted women. Indeed, the percentage and number of women in state government has fallen under Christie.
And Romney himself supports austerity budgeting that slashes government jobs, praising Christie’s layoffs and vowing to slice government jobs if elected president. “We’ve got too many of them, and they’re paid too much,” he said of government employees last year.