06 June 2014

Job Numbers in Historical Context

Here are some graphs and a couple of tables to compare this decade and administration with those of the last few decades.

This first graph assumes that the monthly average for job creation during these first 4 years and 5 months holds through the rest of the decade. You can see that this decade's numbers aren't much different from the 1990s.
However, if we adjust the raw numbers to percent of population (you might think that a population of 300 million would be able to - and need to - create more jobs than a population of 200 million), you can see that this decade is so-so.

Here is a graph showing the cumulative job creation numbers during the last four re-elected administrations.

The ranking of administrations through month 64 - the most recent month for which job numbers have been reported for the Obama administration - results in this ranking.

Assuming that the effect of a president's policies won't be felt until at one year in (if even then, given the myriad forces at work on the economy, including Congress's tendency to at turns exacerbate or mitigate the president's plans), this graph shows job creation without the first year.

The ranking without the inclusion of that first year (a particularly favorable change for Obama given that during his first six months in office the American economy hemorrhaged 3.4 million jobs), Obama and Reagan trade places on the ranking.

It does look as though - Great Recession aside - this decade and Obama's administration are shaping up to be fairly normal in comparison to past decades and administrations. 

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