PolitiFact: Wishful thinking, but O’Brien gets it wrong on healthcare jobs claim

By JAKE BERRY
Nashua Telegraph Staff Writer

“There’s 400 more people working in health care today in New Hampshire than when we passed the budget.”

– Rep. William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, speaker of the House of Representatives, on Monday, May 7, in an interview with The Telegraph editorial board.

Our ruling

The health care industry was a bright spot during the recession, but job estimates show that it didn’t rebound from the state budget cuts the way O’Brien reported. The most recent state estimates show that jobs in the health care industry, combined with social assistance, have remained flat or even decreased – not gained – since April 2011, when the House initially passed the budget. And since the state budget took effect in June 2011, the industry has lost about 700 jobs. There is one measure that shows some growth, but it was only a snapshot and doesn’t cover the time period O’Brien was talking about. Based on the most authoritative numbers that include the most recent data, we rate this claim False.

To view the complete article, visit www.politifact.com.