Chart: Obama vs. Bush: Private Sector Job Growth (First 52 Months)

There is a lot of Republican right-wing misinformation about the state of the economy and private sector job growth. And breathtaking in their ineptitude are conservatives who believe President Obama is presiding over a net private sector job loss economy. This simply is untrue. I don’t say this because it’s my opinion, I say it because the data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows net private sector job growth since January 2009 of almost 2.6 million jobs. It’s not something that can be disputed because we have actual data and record keeping. It’s information that anybody can research, but it requires a lot less conjecture and a little more work, which might produce a result that would not comport to right-wing narratives.

I will not assert that the economy is strong, especially since the unemployment rate is still above 7%. But I thought it might be a useful exercise to chart cumulative private sector job growth over the first 52 months of both the Bush and Obama presidencies, a time which saw two recessions, including the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009. I will not attempt to quantify liberal vs. conservative economic philosophy. Instead, I simply want to present the raw data.

Below is a graph showing monthly cumulative private sector job creation (seasonally adjusted) for the first 52 months of each administration (the Obama administration recently closed it’s 52nd month). Red is for President Bush. Blue is for President Obama.

source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

As you can see, by the 52nd month of the Bush presidency, the economy had not yet fully recovered the private sector jobs lost from the 2001 recession. In fact, by the end of Bush’s first term (48 months), there was still a deficit of over one million net private sector jobs.

In stark contrast, by the end of Obama’s first term, there was a surplus of over 1.7 million net private sector jobs, and by the 52nd month of the Obama presidency (April 2013), net private sector job growth stood at 2.582 million jobs. To reiterate for the Tea Party crowd — surplus: good — deficit: bad.

Remember, one standing narrative on the Right is that President Bush was given a raw deal by the so-called liberal media. Also remember another standing narrative on the Right, that President Obama is a socialist and his policies are destroying the economy. Well, if Obama is destroying the economy during his first 52 months, then what the hell was Bush doing during the same period of his presidency?

The truth is simple. President Obama has presided over more robust private sector job growth during his first 52 months compared to President Bush. This fact is even more acute when you remember that Obama inherited a much worse economy than Bush. President Obama had to overcome the “Great Recession” where Bush need only subjugate a normal cyclical recession.

Numbers don’t lie, but Republicans do.

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#BLS#Bureau of Labor Statistics#chart#conservative#economy#graph#great recession#job growth#jobs#President Bush#President Obama#private sector#Republican#right-wing

  • barry

    What a crock of sht!!!! Obama has done NOTHING to create jobs with all his regulations he rammed down the private sectors throat!!! If Bush created 1 job, and 1 person worked it, he gets credit for one job. If obama puts out 5 temp jobs (which end), then obama gets credit for creating 5 jobs!!! Don’t forget how many people are not counted in the labor force anymore! The jobs put out under Obama don’t keep up with the population growth either, Sutton didn’t bother to mention that. The only jobs around are retail, temp & part time! Oh, but David K Sutton counted that in! Who’s benefiting the most from Obama’s economy? The 1%ers!!! Common sense doesn’t lie, but democrats like David K Sutton do!

    And Bush inherited 3 recessions, Obama didn’t. He’s created his own. Understand David the Democrat??

    • The rules didn’t change. The way they calculate this shit didn’t change. I can actually agree with you on one level, but you can’t go critiquing labor force statistics as they apply to Obama’s time in office if you aren’t willing to do the same under any president. Nothing you named is a product of Obama’s time in office. We have been in a multi-decade slide when it comes to the job market, which has increasingly become a low-paying service-based job market. You can argue Obama hasn’t done enough to turn this around, but you are foolish if you believe this began on Obama’s watch.

      • barry

        No, the unions, EPA, highest corporate tax, NAFTA didn’t start on his watch, but the ACA did!!! And that’s keeping the economy down bad enough. Next to all his job killing regulations that you don’t want to talk about. How come the 1%ers are the only ones doing well in this Hope & Change economy??

        • One word: Congress

          • barry

            Dems had full control of it 2007-2010.

          • Democrats never have full control because they do not vote lockstep. It’s a critique of Democrats even the Right loves to trot out, except when its not convenient.