Presidents and Job Growth



unemployment (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It’s now been 43 months, (three years and seven months) into President Obama’s term and we continue to see an unemployment rate of more than eight percent.  I believe we can call this a trend at this point.




In researching the Bureau of Labor statistics for job growth during a president’s term in office we find the following;

Harry Truman – 3.5 million jobs.
Dwight Eisenhower – 4.2 million jobs.
John F. Kennedy – 2.5 million jobs.
Lyndon Johnson – 8.5 million jobs.
Richard Nixon – 10.2 million jobs.
Gerald Ford – 2.9 million jobs.
Jimmy Carter – 10.0 million jobs.
Ronald Reagan – 16.7 million jobs.
George H.W. Bush – 2.4 million jobs.
Bill Clinton – 18.7 million jobs.
George W. Bush – 4.4 million jobs.
Barrack Obama – 0.1 million jobs.

Now before someone goes crying “foul,” for an incomplete term for President Obama, let’s look at some facts.  In order to move Obama anywhere up in the Presidential job rankings the economy would need to create more than 300 thousand jobs per month from now until January of 2013.  Given the track record for the Obama administration and their 43 months of an unemployment rate of more than 8%, the likely chance of that type of job growth seems just a bit out of reach.

Commenting on the August Jobs Report, economist Heidi Shierholz of the  Economic Policy Center said,  “A disappointing report for one month might be dismissed in normal times as an aberration, but a stagnant report when the unemployment rate is over 8 percent represents a continuation of the crisis, meaning that getting back to pre-recession employment levels will take many more months, even years.”

A favorite and recurring mantra of the president is the recent private-sector job growth.  Obama continues to push the statistic that for 30 consecutive months now, there has been growth in the private sector job market.  However, looking at history there are still 261,000 fewer people employed today than when Obama took office. The jobless rate at Obama’s inauguration was 7.9 percent, and it hasn’t been below 8 percent since.


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