Ok thanks. I figured it out. It looks like you have to create a schedule c in order for 1099 income to be recognized as earned income (even if you have no expenses to deduct). So when you enter the 1099-misc, TT will ask whether you have expenses to deduct. So even if you don't have any expenses to deduct, answer YES. TT will then create a schedule C for you which you'll have to fill out in a later section (I think under business income). Just enter zero for expenses if you have no expenses.
If you answer NO when asked, then TT won't create a schedule c and won't recognize the 1099 as earned income.
(I'm using tt premium, so maybe the interface for tt business is different)