The problem is those headlines and stories are between misleading and dead-bang wrong

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CLEVELAND -- You've probably seen multiple headlines in the recent past.

"Greater Cleveland lost the most jobs" of any metropolitan region in the country.

The problem is those headlines and stories are between misleading and dead-bang wrong.

"It's damaging psychologically, and what's especially frustrating is we know they are not true," said Tom Waltermire, CEO of Team NEO, the group leading efforts to bring companies and jobs here.

That group and other local business leaders are doing damage control and trying to fix the problem.

The issue is the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics cranks out lots of numbers, some more useful than others.

One based on current employment statistics only tracks numbers from 6 percent of employers.

And those snapshots are often off-base.

Greater Cleveland's numbers for about five months in a row showed it in the cellar-dwelling position nationwide in terms of job loss/creation.

It showed Cleveland losing an average of 6,300 jobs a month when compared with the previous year.

But a second longer-in-the-making more accurate survey using unemployment filings, using data from 98 percent of employers showed Cleveland adding almost 7,700 jobs a month versus the same month last year.

"We've actually been steadily gaining jobs in Northeast Ohio. ... We've been on a win streak for two and three quarters years," he said.

Team NEO is taking its case to the media and to Congress. It's asking the Northeast Ohio delegation to pressure the Labor Department to stop issuing surveys using the smaller sample or find a way to produce numbers that are fast and accurate.

"We're actually trying to put a little pressure saying just don't send out the unreliable stuff," Waltermire said.

Cleveland has enough genuine problems without having to battle negative headlines and stories that aren't right.

Waltermire's not sure exactly where Cleveland should rank. The problem's compounded because numbers for other cities are also off base.

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