In the 64 years from the end of WWII to 2009, jobs under Democratic presidents have invariably increased at double the rate of growth under Republicans. Prof. Robert McElvaine compiled the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Reading McElvaine’s graph of job gain/loss by administration, it’s clear that the inauguration of a Republican president signals a drop in new jobs that will last until a Democrat takes the helm. This holds true even under the much-maligned Jimmy Carter and the sanctified Ronald Reagan. Only in the special case of 2009 did the number of new jobs plunge under a Democratic president. That was the year following the crash at the end of the Republican administration of Pres. G. W. Bush and before Democratic Pres. Obama’s stimulus could take effect. Remarkably, though, as weak as the recovery is, we have seen a net growth of more than 1 million jobs under Obama, more than twice the number under Bush. McElvaine crunches the numbers:
During the 28 years of Democratic administrations in that period, 57.5 million new jobs were created, an average of 2.05 million per year.
During the 36 years of Republican administrations in that period, 36.2 million new jobs were created, an average of 1.0 million per year.
Zooming in on the data, McElvaine shows the monthly gain/loss of jobs from the last year of G. W. Bush’s term to the present. In the 18 months between January of 2008 and the middle of Obama’s first year, the crash, the Bush tax cuts and other Republican economic policies resulted in a loss of 7.5 million jobs. Obama’s stimulus had yet to take effect. Since October 2010 until now, new jobs have been added every month. In the last year and a half, 28 million new jobs have been created.
When will the Democrats use these facts and defy the Republican claims that Obama destroys jobs and that Republicans create them? Unfortunately, numbers aren’t sexy. Congratulations to those of you who’ve plowed through the figures and are still reading. It’s up to Democratic strategists and copywriters to capture the truth in catchy soundbites.