Fact-checking 7 claims in Bill Clinton's convention speech

The 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton addresses the audience at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 5, 2012 on the second day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In his 49-minute speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton cited several statistics and made a number of supposedly fact-based assertions. Here's a look at which claims hold up under scrutiny and which don't.

"Since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What's the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42."

Since 1961, there have been five Republican presidents and five Democratic presidents - serving, as Clinton said, a cumulative 28 years and 24 years, respectively. Here's a breakdown of the net job creation under each one, according to data available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


Richard Nixon: + 7.1 million

Gerald Ford: +1.3 million

Ronald Reagan: + 14.7 million

George H. W. Bush: + 1.5 million

George W. Bush: -646,000

Total jobs added: +23.9 million


John F. Kennedy: +2.7 million

Lyndon B. Johnson: +9.5 million

Jimmy Carter: +9 million

Bill Clinton: +20.6 million

Barack Obama: +332,000

Total jobs added: +42.1 million

Clinton's assertion, then, is true: For whatever reason, Democratic presidents have added approximately 42 million private sector jobs, cumulatively, while Republicans have added approximately 24 million.

Politifact points out that Clinton did not include public sector job growth in his calculations. Because Democrats are thought to historically add more government jobs than Republicans, adding those figures could have pumped up Democratic job growth figures even more, Politifact argues.

A Washington Post analysis, however, contends that the most comprehensive measurement of job growth would have been to measure the numbers relative to population growth and to factor in nonfarm payrolls. In the Washington Post's subsequent analysis including those factors, "only four times did growth in nonfarm payrolls outpace population growth: under LBJ, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. All of which supports Clinton's contention that Democrats do better on job growth."