The NY Times' Catherine Rampell on Mitt Romney's, uh, boast that he would create 12 million jobs in his first term:
Macroeconomic Advisers projected [last April] that the economy would add 11.8 million jobs from 2012 to 2016.
That is, no matter what, pretty much.
Moody's Analytics also projects job growth at just under 12 million, while the Congressional Budget Office reports that even if we go over the "fiscal cliff,"
employment would grow by just 10 million from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2017.
Therefore, notes Rampell, what Romney is actually promising, mutatis mutandis, is additional job growth of somewhere between 200,000 and 2 million jobs over a four-year span; and since no one really expects we'll go over the cliff, more like 200,000. In four years. That's 4,166 new jobs a month, over and above what the sun rising each day will create.
It should also be noted that the roughly 12 million jobs which analysts expect in the next four years will be the product of President Obama's preceding four. Observed Moody's Mark Zandi to Rampell:
[T]he economy’s fundamentals are much improved, as households deleverage, the financial system re-capitalizes, and American businesses become global competitive. Moreover, the construction cycle is on the verge of turning up significantly, which by itself will create a boat load of jobs, particularly in 2014-15.
So Mitt Romney isn't really bragging when he says he'll create 12 million jobs, give or take. He's merely saying, without saying it (oh that little devil), that thanks to President Obama even he could preside over significant job growth.