Friday, January 9, 2009

Employment by President

I understand this is not completely due to GB II (the business cycle dominates a lot of this), but...


President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.

His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.

I've also added a line showing the difference between the jobs growth and population growth. Any negative figure means jobs grew at a slower rate than the population... not a good thing.


  1. The Bush administration has not created any jobs at all. Neither has any other administration. Jobs are created when people start or epand businesses. Jobs are destroyed when the government tries to gerrymander the economy.

  2. I'm really sick of this intellectually bankrupt bullshit whereby people try to ascribe economic success or failure to a president, even a two term one. Given that our current problems are due to decades of pulling demand forward by floating credit bubble after credit bubble, blaming GWII (as much as I hate him) is just plain stupid, and betrays a profound lack of perspective on how the world works. Please don't perpetrate this stupidity. Should Clinton really be given credit for inheriting a stock market bubble? Should Obama be punished should he actually do the right thing and allow our economy to suffer while we get our house back in order? This simplistic short-sighted mentality is a huge part of why were are in the mess we are in.

  3. jonathan-

    note the beginning sentence of the post "I understand this is not completely due to GB II (the business cycle dominates a lot of this), but..."

    that being said, he had eight years to push at least some areas of job growth and we see / saw nothing (even before this crash, jobs were lacking - though the unemployment figure did not accurately represent that for a myriad of reasons including people dropping from the workforce or working part-time).

  4. jake,

    i tend to ignore people's CYA hedges and look at what they actually say. the fact that you bothered with this entire post suggests you think there's something to the idea of looking at job growth as a function of what a president does during four to eight years. we're in a 100 year flood, caused by a buildup of credit over 20-30 years, and you're worrying about the executive branch of a distributed government over the past eight? why not blame congress for the lack of jobs? they actually appropriate money.

    finger pointing is completely counterproductive and just plain misguided. everybody wants to find a scapegoat, but there is enough blame to cover millions of people over a long, long period of time.

  5. everything that is in this chart are actual #'s based on actual history. was it good and bad timing? possibly, but these are the #'s and i have absolutely no problem showing it.

    get me the data showing congressional majority and job growth and i'll post it. i'll assume you wouldn't want to show that either (and i do understand why), but i just don't agree with it.

    this chart to me is definitely one thing... interesting. whether it is proof or not of anything is for the reader to decide.

  6. Should Clinton really be given credit for inheriting a stock market bubble?

    He didn't inherit it. For better or worse the bubble (as in a run-up that doesn't reflect fundamentals) happened entirely on his watch.

    He did, however, inherit an economy at the beginning of a business cycle.

    Party control here.