Recently I wrote a post about the job creation records of Presidents Truman through George W. Bush. So, I think it’s only fair to take a look at the job creation record of President Obama (so far). Here are the job creation numbers for Obama so far, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figures are in thousands;
Obama's Job Creation Record
|Totals:||-5.06 mill.||1.007 mill.||1.84 mill.||NYR|
When I see those numbers I can only conclude that those who are critical of Obama’s job creation efforts are suffering from amnesiac myopia. They have totally forgotten that the economic crisis that Obama inherited was this country’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And they are so focused on the latest job creation numbers that they don’t look at the big picture.
Remember what happened when the June numbers were released by the BLS? Those numbers were portrayed as possibly being the sign of a weakening economy. News stories frequently mentioned that the June numbers toppoed what was the weakest quarter of job creation in the past two years. Had they looked at the big picture they would have seen that we went through a similar slump last year. And, the difference between the two slumps is minor. During this year’s slump job creation averaged 75-thousand jobs a month. Last year’s slump saw job creation average 80-thousand jobs a month—a difference of only 5-thousand jobs. Last year’s slump is blamed on the debt ceiling crisis, with strong job creation occurring after the crisis was resolved. Is it impossible that we could see a similar rebound this year?
Look at the job creation totals for all four years. In 2009 we were in the midst of the Great Recession. We saw 12 straight months of job losses, totaling -5,060,000 jobs. That’s the Grand Canyon-sized hole that Obama is trying to lead us out of. We made good strides in 2010, reversing the downward spiral and finishing with 1,007,000 new jobs created. In 2011 the upward trend accelerated, with 1,840,000 jobs—despite the slump caused by the mid-year debt ceiling crisis. This year job creation started out great but began a downward trend in April. To date, 902,000 jobs have been created in 2012.
Here’s an analogy for you to consider. Suppose you were taken by helicopter to the floor of the Grand Canyon and told that you had to climb your way back to the top. That’s not something you could do in a couple of hours. In the same way it’s going to take this country a lot longer than a couple of years to climb out of that -5,060,000 job creation hole that the Great Recession put us in.
Looking at Obama’s job creation record we see that 3,749,000 jobs have been created during the Obama administration, leaving us 1,311,000 jobs from climbing out of that hole we found ourselves in because of the Great Recession. One can only wonder how much closer we’d be to climbing out of that hole had the Republicans in Congress not put defeating Obama by depriving him of any and every legislative victory they could, above responsibly governing our country.
The point we’re at in Obama’s current term in office gives us another way of looking at his job creation record. He has been in office 42 months; so we can look at his job creation efforts in his first 21 months and his second 21 months.
Obama’s first 21 months saw net job losses in 18 of those months. That means less than 15% of those months saw positive job creation results. Those first 21 months ended in September of 2010. The second 21 months started off in October with a tremendous figure, 220,000 jobs created. That started the current string of 21 consecutive months with positive job creation results. That’s 100% of the months with positive job creation results, and 3,183,000 jobs created. Consider that for a moment, 21 straight months of positive job creation results and over 3-million jobs created in less than 2 years. Given that, how can Obama’s critics claim he knows nothing about job creation?
I’ve heard Obama campaign surrogates make the claim that we’ve had 28 consecutive months of job gains with 4.3-million jobs created over that span of time. Frankly, I don’t know where the Obama campaign is getting those figures. Personally, I have more faith in the numbers put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even if the BLS job creation figures are significantly lower than the numbers claimed by the Obama administration, I still believe that they convincingly refute the claims of Obama’s critics that he’s a failure at creating jobs and strengthening our economy.
I firmly believe that the story of Obama’s record on job creation cannot be seen by looking at the last 2-3 months of job creation. What we have to do is look at all 42 of his months in office. And, we must be mindful of the economic situation we were in when he took office.
I didn’t compare Obama’s numbers to those of the other presidents because his time in office has not been completed. When he’s out of office we’ll see where he stacks up against the other presidents.