06 February 2016

Data vs. Myth - Job Creation and Reliance on the Public Sector under Reagan and Obama

Here is some interesting data that shows job creation by administration with public sector (government) jobs broken out in orange from the private sector jobs in blue.

Curiously, no one since Reagan has gotten a bigger boost from big government than Reagan did during his second term. (Well, unless you are counting percentages, in which case George W's first term wins, when the government created 1 job every time the private sector lost 1 job.) And no one has had a bigger drag on job creation numbers because of layoffs in the government sector than Obama. He's on track to preside over the loss of roughly half a million government jobs during his two terms. And note that in Reagan's second term, the government created 7X as many jobs as it did during Obama's second term.

Reagan is the big government beneficiary and Obama is the one who stumbled along with little public sector boost. That's a narrative you won't hear pundits share.


Here is the data that drives the graph above. (It projects Obama's numbers through a full second term, just assuming that the remaining 11 months will continue at the average of the first 37 months.)

Job Creation
(in millions)
Reagan 1
private sector 5.2
public sector 0.0
govt jobs bonus -0.5%
Reagan 2
private sector 9.4
public sector 1.4
govt jobs bonus 15.4%
H Bush
private sector 1.5
public sector 1.1
govt jobs bonus 77.1%
Clinton 1
private sector 11.0
public sector 0.7
govt jobs bonus 6.3%
Clinton 2
private sector 10.3
public sector 1.2
govt jobs bonus 12.0%
W. Bush 1
private sector -1.0
public sector 0.9
govt jobs bonus -89.6%
W. Bush 2
private sector 1.3
public sector 0.8
govt jobs bonus 64.5%
Obama 1
private sector 1.0
public sector -0.7
govt jobs bonus -69.2%
Obama 2
private sector 10.8
public sector 0.2
govt jobs bonus 2.0%

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