A Critical Eye on Obama’s Jobs and Unemployment Record

Barack Obama claims he has created 8,302,000 new jobs through January 2016.

As he leaves office in January 2017, he will likely proclaim that his administration has practically achieved full employment, which is defined in the 3% range. And he’ll likely paint a rosy picture that under his management, the economy is in full recovery mode.

That is as far from reality as one can get inside the Washington beltway bubble and mindset.

The numbers, when viewed as a whole, do not support his claim, especially in light of the loss of 12.017 million jobs lost during the Bush and Obama years according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

And the majority of jobs that have been created are low-wage, not the good-paying jobs that were lost. In the U.S., jobs paying between $14 and $21 per hour made up about 60% those lost during the recession, but such mid-wage jobs have comprised only about 27% of jobs gained during the recovery through mid-2012. In contrast, lower-paying jobs constituted about 58% of the jobs regained.

NetChangeinOccupationalEmployment

Source: NELP

 

March 7, 2016 update: Noted Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and author  David Cay Johnston states the U.S. no longer has a labor market because wages have been low and flat for workers, and calls for government action to fix the imbalance in employer power and workers. 

 

If Obama wanted the public to know about his performance, he would offer a scorecard like this comparing his record to previous presidents.

 

TRUMAN TO OBAMA: THE PRESIDENTIAL SCORECARD©
PresidentYEARSJOBS CREATEDJOBS LOSTNET JOBSAVERAGE U-3AVERAGE LABOR PARTICIPATION RATENOT IN LABOR FORCE AT END OF TERM AVERAGE DISCOURAGED WORKERSAVERAGE MARGINALLY ATTACHED WORKERS
TRUMAN1949 - 1952+8,357,000-3,222,000+5,135,0004.4%
EISENHOWER1953 - 1960+10,142,000-6,562,000+3,580,0004.9%
JFK / LBJ1961 - 1964+6,067,000-390,000+5,677,0005.8%
LBJ1965 - 1968+9,983,000-158,000+9,825,0003.9%
NIXON1969 - 1972+7,404,000-1,380,000+6,024,0005.0%
NIXON / FORD1972 -1976+7,473,000-2,295,000+5,178,0006.7%
CARTER1977 - 1980+11,714,000-1,219,000+10,495,0006.5%63.2%61,531,000
REAGAN1981 - 1988+19,273,000-3,310,000+15,963,0007.5%64.7%62,780,000
GHW BUSH1989 - 1992+4,372,000-1,782,000+2,590,0006.3%66.4%65.780,000
CLINTON1993 - 2000+23,420,000-185,000+23,235,0005.2%66.8%70,488,000359,0008.8%
GW BUSH2001 - 2008+8,702,000-6,589,000+2,113,0005.3%66.2%80,380,000408,0009.2%
OBAMA2009 - 2015 (so far)+13,730,000-5,428,000+8,302,0007.8%63.8%94,103,000873,00014.3%
Source: BLS JOBSSource: BLS U-3Source: BLS LABOR PARTICIPATION RATE
Source: BLS NOT IN LABOR FORCE
Source: BLS DISCOURAGED WORKERS
Source: BLS MARGINALLY ATTACHED WORKERS

2008 Election

Barack Obama was swept into the White House in 2009 with complete control of both the House and the Senate, a total repudiation of George W. Bush and the Republicans’ awful “hands off” economic policy that led to mass unemployment and the lowest job creation since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. Bush only had a net gain of 2,113,000 jobs created during his eight years.  Hoover lost 6.4 million jobs during his term.  Bush exceeded Hoover in job losses and Obama comes close.

JOB GAINS & LOSSES BY PRESIDENT - SUMMARY
PRESIDENTYEARSJOBS CREATED BY PRESIDENTJOBS LOST BY PRESIDENTTOTAL NET JOBS
FDR1939 - 194413864-192611938
FDR / TRUMAN1945 - 19488072-49043168
TRUMAN1948 - 19528357-32225135
EISENHOWER1952 - 196010142-65623580
JFK / LBJ1961 - 19646067-3905677
LBJ1965 - 19689983-1589825
NIXON1968 - 1972-7404-13806024
NIXON / FORD1973 - 19767473-22955178
CARTER1977 - 198011714-121910495
REAGAN1980 - 198819273-331015963
GHW BUSH1989 - 19924372-17822590
CLINTON1992 - 200023420-18523235
GW BUSH2001 - 20088702-65892113
OBAMA2009 - 2015 (so far)13730-54288302
Source: BLSNOTE: NUMBERS REPRESENT THOUSANDS (ex: 242 = 242,000)

Fixing the jobs and unemployment problem caused by Bush was a very high priority for voters when they elected Obama in 2008. His campaign rhetoric promising to fix the problem was what got him elected.

Now, as the 2016 election approaches, a critical view of the jobs and unemployment numbers under Obama show that not only has he not fixed them, his lack of an economic plan and policy have made matters much worse.  This is the primary reason the public cannot acknowledge they have felt any economic recovery at all.

Every month when the jobs report is released, he proclaims that “We are making progress, but more needs to be done“. He’ll cite the U-3 unemployment number from the BLS as proof that things are getting better; January 2016 was listed 4.9%.

However, Obama neglects to mention that on his watch 13,533,000 people have stopped looking for work as of December 2015 because of the lack of jobs being created; effectively, they are dropping out of the Labor Force and not being counted as unemployed.

The U-3 unemployment rate average for his term in office so far is 7.8%. His Labor Force Participation Rate averages out to 63.8% for his term, something not seen since the days of Jimmy Carter.

That sets him pretty low compared to recent presidents, especially his predecessor, George W. Bush, widely acknowledged as the worst president since Hoover.

 

Two Measures – Not in Labor Force & Labor Force Participation Rate

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) collects data on different aspects of employment and unemployment as well as other labor-related  areas.  The U-3 unemployment rate is what is the mainstream media announces monthly and is closely watched by Wall Street investors.

Two unemployment segments that are important in determining the unemployment rate are Not in Labor Force and Labor Force Participation Rate.

The BLS defines Labor Force Participation Rate as:

The labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population.

The rule-of-thumb is that as unemployment goes down, the participation rate will increase.

The BLS defines Not in the Labor Force (Current Population Survey) as :

Includes persons aged 16 years and older in the civilian noninstitutional population who are neither employed nor unemployed in accordance with the definitions contained in this glossary. Information is collected on their desire for and availability for work, job search activity in the prior year, and reasons for not currently searching. (See Marginally attached workers.)

The BLS defines Marginally Attached Workers (Current Population Survey) as:

Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Discouraged workers are a subset of the marginally attached. (See Discouraged workers.)

The BLS defines Discouraged workers (Current Population Survey) as:

Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for a job and who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but who are not currently looking because they believe there are no jobs available or there are none for which they would qualify.

 The BLS history of Marginally Attached and Discouraged Workers goes back to 1994 (the Clinton years) but they do not seem to reflect reality;  Discouraged Workers is still under 1 million according to the BLS . The Bush and Obama years have regularly seen major layoffs in the news, but affected workers aren’t showing up in the BLS stats. Even so, in the Marginally Attached Workers, Obama’s average so far is 14.3% compared to Clinton’s 8.8% and Bush’s 9.2%. For Discouraged Workers, Obama’s average is 873,000 compared to Clinton’s 359,000 and Bush’s 408,000.  Even with these increases, they are not reflective of the economic turmoil with lost jobs and worker layoffs since 2001.

DISCOURAGED WORKERS - DETAILED DATA W/ AVERAGES BY PRESIDENT
YEARJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC ANNUAL AVERAGE TERM AVERAGEPRESIDENT
1994600489533502436532542489521460447445500
1995440439454385398364456410341412401425410
1996409455451403352414423415391374346334397
1997397364356379338353311311328302331345343
1998374361343344268311374280317333310358331
1999339271295245256220290265289271272267273
2000236267258331280309266203253232236269262359CLINTON
2001301287349349328294310337285331328348321
2002328375330320414342405378392359385403369
2003449450474437482478470503388462457433457
2004432484514492476478504534412429392442466
2005515485480393392476499384362392404451436
2006396386451381323481428448325331349274381
2007442375381399368401367392276320349363369
2008467396401412400420461381467484608642462408BUSH
2009734731685740792793796758706808861929778
2010106512049941197108312071185111012091219128213181173
20119931020921989822982111997710379671096945989
2012105910068659688308218528448028139791068909
201380488580383578010279888668528157629178619
2014837755698783697676741775698770698740739
2015682732738756563653668624635665594663664873
2016623OBAMA
Source: BLS
NOTE: NUMBERS REPRESENT THOUSANDS (ex: 623 = 623,000)
MARGINALLY ATTACHED WORKERS - DETAILED DATA W/ AVERAGES BY PRESIDENT
YEARJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC ANNUAL AVERAGE TERM AVERAGEPRESIDENT
199411.811.411.411.210.810.910.710.510.410.310.11010.8
199510.29.99.9101010.110.11010.19.9101010.0
19969.8109.89.99.79.69.79.39.49.49.39.59.6
19979.49.49.19.28.88.88.68.68.78.48.38.48.8
19988.48.48.47.97.988.17.97.97.87.67.68.0
19997.77.77.67.67.47.57.57.37.47.27.17.17.4
20007.17.27.16.97.1777.176.87.16.97.08.8CLINTON
20017.37.47.37.47.57.97.88.18.79.39.49.68.1
20029.59.59.49.79.59.59.69.69.69.69.79.89.6
20031010.21010.210.110.310.310.110.410.2109.810.1
20049.99.7109.69.69.59.59.49.49.79.49.29.6
20059.39.39.18.98.998.88.998.78.78.68.9
20068.48.48.28.18.28.48.58.488.28.17.98.2
20078.48.288.28.28.38.48.48.48.48.48.88.3
20089.299.19.29.710.110.510.81111.812.613.610.69.2BUSH
200914.215.215.815.916.516.516.416.716.717.117.117.116.3
201016.71717.117.116.616.416.416.516.816.616.916.616.7
201116.21615.916.115.816.115.916.116.415.815.515.215.9
201215.21514.614.614.814.814.814.614.814.414.414.414.7
201314.514.313.81413.814.213.813.613.713.713.113.113.8
201412.712.612.612.312.11212.21211.811.511.411.212.0
201511.31110.910.810.710.510.410.3109.89.99.910.514.3
20169.9OBAMA
Source: BLSNOTE: NUMBERS REPRESENT PERCENTS

What is happening is that there is a huge increase in the Not in Labor Force workers category.

Before 1993, the Not in Labor Force was stable and consistent; after 1993 it was growing leaps and bounds

Not in Labor Force is not counted towards the unemployment rate, even though they want work and can’t find it.

The Not in Labor Force was fairly consistent prior to 1993 where it only increased 6,603,000 over 17 years (that works out to adding 388,412 per year) back to 1975 which is what the BLS has available.

In the 22 years since 1993 (through December 2015), it increased 28,541,000 (that works out to adding 1,297,318 per year). Obama alone has increased it 13,533,000, even outdoing George W. Bush by over 3 million so far

PEOPLE NOT IN LABOR FORCE BY PRESIDENT - SUMMARY
PRESIDENTYEARSSTARTINGENDINGTOTAL ADDED
CARTER1977 - 198060,480,00061,531,0001,051,000
REAGAN1981 - 198861,078,00062,780,0001,702,000
GHW BUSH
1989 - 199262,254,00065,230,0002,976,000
CLINTON1993 - 200065,562,00070,488,0004,926,000
GW BUSH
2001 - 200870,088,00080,380,00010,292,000
OBAMA2009 - 2015 (so far)80,529,00094,062,00013,533,000
Source: BLS

 

So what changed after 1992?

 

Misclassifying and Not Counting the Unemployed

When Clinton won the election in 1992, he appointed Wall Street financier Robert Rubin as an economic policy advisor. That is when changes to counting and classifying unemployed workers took place. How do we know? The Not in Labor Force numbers increased dramatically after Clinton took office.

Classifying unemployed people so they won’t be counted as unemployed artificially reduces the U-3 unemployment rate. Under Clinton and more so under Obama, we see an enormous number of people classified as Not in the Labor Force while the U-3 unemployment rate deceptively goes down.

In addition, in 2013, Obama ordered the BLS to stop counting Mass Layoffs.

 

When the Unemployed are not “Unemployed”

Looking at some of the numbers in detail and by averages, you can see how these changes are misleading.

For example, George W. Bush added almost 10.3 million to Not in Labor Force, but he only had an average U-3 unemployment rate of 5.3%, which is just a shade over Bill Clinton’s 5.2% U-3 unemployment rate average for his term.

 

U-3 UNEMPLOYMENT AVERAGES BY PRESIDENT - SUMMARY
PRESIDENTYEARSU-3 UNEMPLOYMENT AVERAGE FOR TERM
TRUMAN1949 - 19524.4%
EISENHOWER1953 - 19604.9%
JFK / LBJ1961 - 19645.8%
LBJ1965 - 19683.9%
NIXON1969 - 19725.0%
NIXON / FORD1973 - 19766.7%
CARTER1977 - 19806.5%
REAGAN1981 - 19887.5%
GHW BUSH1989 - 19926.3%
CLINTON1993 - 20005.2%
GW BUSH2001 - 20085.3%
OBAMA2009 - 2015 (so far)7.8%
Source: BLS

 

 

In Jan 1993, Clinton inherited a 7.3% U-3 unemployment rate from George H.W. Bush; there was 65,562,000 Not in Labor Force and a Labor Force Participation Rate of 66.2%.  He ended his term in December 2000 with a 3.9% U-3 unemployment rate and 70,488,000 Not in Labor Force (an increase of 4,926,000, which is 615,750 added per year – an annual increase of 1.6x prior to 1993) and with a Labor Force Participation Rate of 67%.

Obama inherited a 7.8% U-3 unemployment rate in January 2009 with 80,529,000 Not in Labor Force and a Labor Force Participation Rate of 65.7%.  In January 2016, he had a 4.9% U-3 unemployment rate with 94,062,000 Not in Labor Force (an increase of 13,533,000 so far, which is 1,933,286 added per year, an annual increase of 5x prior to 1993) and a Labor Force Participation Rate of 62.7%.

In reality, Obama has a net shortage of 5,231,000 jobs when adjusting for the increase in the Not in Labor Force (8,302,000 -13,533,000); adding this many  to the U-3 unemployment rate  would certainly increase it.

If Obama’s jobs plan had created something akin to the 23.235 million jobs Clinton created, the economy would have been much better off; he didn’t and it ain’t.

 

Is it a Recession or a Depression?

From 1929 – 1932, Herbert Hoover lost 6,400,000 jobs, causing the Great Depression.

From 2001 – 2008, George W. Bush lost 6,589,000 jobs.

From 2009 – 2015, Barack Obama lost 5,428,000 jobs.

Combined, Bush & Obama lost 12,017,000 jobs, almost twice what Hoover lost.

When considering the number of  jobs created and the pay for those jobs (not to mention reduced work hours and loss of benefits), the argument that this is a depression is strong.

Recession or depression, you decide.

 

Obama’s Management Style

There are two conclusions that can be drawn about Obama’s management of the economy.

The first one is that what really becomes apparent about Obama is how much he grossly underestimated the state of the economy in 2008 and his lack of planning to fix it. This is unusual for someone that graduated from two premier ivy league universities like Harvard and Columbia. Then once in office, he became “hands off” and failed to track if progress was being made.

Turning it over to an economic team that included Wall Streeters like Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner was a colossal mistake. It’s worth a reminder that Obama has only signed one jobs bill ( The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009  worth $552 billion at the beginning of his presidency, nothing else afterwards.  Considering the scope of the damage that Bush and the Republicans inflicted, $552 billion was very inadequate when what was needed was 2x or 3x that amount for economic revitalization.

Barack Obama threw money at the problem without understanding it, and it didn’t work. Down deep in his core beliefs, he doesn’t believe government should be used to create jobs, unlike FDR did with the New Deal during the Great Depression. This is a uniquely distinct Republican position, one that Herbert Hoover had.  Many of FDR’s New Deal programs were created by Hoover, but were not used because his ideology and belief in the free market system prevented him from implementing them.

The second conclusion is that after Obama was elected in 2008, he just didn’t care. This is apparent because his primary focus in his first term was passing Obamacare for the private sector corporate insurance industry. The focus in his second term has been passing the corporate trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Waging Middle East wars begun by Bush has also been a priority with him during his presidency.

Barack Obama is good at giving speeches and making promises, but he’s also absolutely terrible at following through on promises he makes.

What has also become crystal clear is how unqualified both parties and their candidates are to govern, especially during an economic crisis like this.  They have no interest in carrying out the will of the voters.

In 2000, Bush who had failed repeatedly at businesses, wound up as president (remember, the GOP is supposed to be the party of business).  In 2008, Obama had a talent for making speeches but otherwise had a unbelievably sparse record of accomplishing anything, and he still got elected as president.

Looking at the 2016 candidates, neither of the major party candidates like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has a jobs plan, so it could be more of the same as the past sixteen years.

 

About that “real” unemployment rate

FiveThirtyEight chief economics writer Ben Casselman has an article “What is the real unemployment rate?

It is in response to something Donald Trump said about the “real unemployment rate” being 42%. Neil Irwin of the New York Times also wrote a response to it.

First, to set the record straight, Politifact states that Donald Trump was quoting David Stockman.

There are problems with all three articles.

Politifact, while it identifies the source of the quote and the 42% unemployment rate,  then ends with quoting an economist who says: “The fact that these adults are jobless is not a marker of economic failure — it is an indicator of a very prosperous society …“. Really?

Neil Irwin’s column in the NYT proved even more ludicrous. Must be the political season where the ludicrous masquerades as reason.

Casselman provides a “BLS Unemployment for Dummies” approach but really doesn’t do any investigation on the why there are some major inconsistencies. He missed a golden journalistic opportunity to do some real investigative work on the unemployment numbers.

Alone, the unemployment rate is irrelevant.  In Obama’s case, it is 1 month out of 96 and should be taken in context with all other factors for a good or bad economy.

March 7, 2016 update: Trump quoted a 42% unemployment rate, which in some cases might be close to accurate, but probably not in the way he intended.

The BLS keeps track of youth employment & unemployment across different races and genders.

Black-unemployment
Source: BLS Labor Force Statistics, Current Population Survey, Unadjusted, http://bls.gov/data/#

Another article from Socialist Alternative quotes a Chicago Urban League report saying ” … the unemployment rate of black male teenagers in the city of Chicago is at an astounding 92%. …”  –and — ” … An equally appalling released in this study highlights the similarly dire situation for this demographic nationwide, with 83% of black males aged sixteen to nineteen being unemployed. …”.     

So technically, this one goes to Trump with a qualifier.  Sorry Politifact.


Sources Used:
PEOPLE NOT IN LABOR FORCE BY YEAR / BY PRESIDENT - DETAILED DATA
YearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
1975586275921459052590445882059400592885941859646598156008860180
1976599196006860091597835991860142596935978460226602895998160090
1977604806012860016600415999259836602726006460221601005955359886
1978597445999459946596895962259424596355974859707597035945559463
1979594595922459438599906028860082599686010259901601136023960042
1980599826006260542606066047860863607736099861199610986112761531
Carter Admin
added
1051People Not in
Labor Force
1981610786103860900607166060761646616906167462299617856176062254
1982622466202262100620246157562109620226199761969621376200862116
1983626596287163069629666315762246625506220962304628536272362794
1984633246306463111628716247462467624686290162906629376296562725
1985626596264062339624686271063131629436311462667626256280562758
1986629886293962765628326278362419625536267862602626706272962936
1987629826287662909630086252563059629836268463150628026293062891
1988628536281363198629816330363089630646270563002629086260762780
Reagan Admin
added
1702People Not in
Labor Force
1989622546264262670624596270762334625166243262782626606238062668
1990625806280662829631296302063485634566335263636637156380263875
1991642086425164143639696447464469647926496664652648556495665134
1992646926486064600645136438464204642636440564728654166518065230
GHW Bush
Admin added
2976People Not in
Labor Force
1993655626565065650658146528565308654856544465991658716591465853
1994653576542165813657426573166132662076576865827656866571665814
1995657156577065899655586643566504662726646566394664766674166997
1996670186682066741666926661166762663576679366546663526645666523
1997668296698866622666586671366789666896674666895671346698066943
1998671436728867311675816752767630676826791067413676406772367635
1999677156790668306682776832068304683906860968642687126864168655
2000691426912069338692676985369876703987040170645707827057970488
Clinton Admin
added
4926People Not in
Labor Force
2001700887040970381709567141471592715267213671676718177187672010
2002726237201072343722817226072600728277285672554730267350873675
2003739607401574295740667426873958747677506275249753247528075780
2004753197564875606759077590375735757307611376526763997625976581
2005768087667776846765147640976673767217664276739769587713877394
2006773397712277161773187735977317775357745177757776347749977376
2007775067785177982788187881078671789047946179047795327910579238
2008785547915679087794297910279314793957946679790797368018980380
GW Bush
Admin added
10292People Not in
Labor Force
2009805298037480953807628070580938813678178082495827668286583813
2010833498330483206827078340984075841998401484347848958459085240
2011854418563785623856038583486144863838611185940863088631286589
2012879188774087837882278810688071884118881288605884438881888753
2013889978951489961898108988089799900949039190419916869121591663
2014916309152691071920639211192130919349214992317922949240292885
2015926999302293190932349308993679937619403594458944469438094103
201694062
Obama Admin
added (so far)
13533People Not in
Labor Force
Note: Numbers in thousands (ex: 58627 = 58,627,000
Source: BLS

 

JOB CREATION BY PRESIDENT - DETAILED DATA EACH TERM (WIKIPEDIA)
U.S. PresidentPartyTerm YearsStart jobsEnd JobsCreatedAve Annual Increase
Harding/CoolidgeR1921-192525,000 **29,500 **+ 4,500 **+4.23% **
Calvin Coolidge R1925-192929,500 ** 32,100 **+ 2,600 **+2.13% **
Herbert HooverR1929-193332,100 ** 25,700 **-6,400 **-5.41% **
Franklin RooseveltD1933-193725,700 ** 31,200 **+ 5,500 **+4.97% **
Franklin RooseveltD1937-194131,200 ** 34,480+ 3,280 **+2.53% **
Franklin RooseveltD1941-194534,48041,903+ 7,423+5.00%
Roosevelt/TrumanD1945-194941,90344,675+ 2,772+1.61%
Harry TrumanD1949-195344,67550,145+ 5,470+2.93%
Dwight EisenhowerR1953-195750,14552,888+ 2,743+1.34%
Dwight EisenhowerR1957-196152,88853,683+ 795+0.87%
Kennedy/Johnson D1961-196553,68359,583+ 5,900+2.64%
Lyndon Johnson D1965-196959,58369,438+ 9,855+3.90%
Richard NixonR1969-197369,43876,290+ 6,852+2.38%
Nixon/FordR1973-197776,29080,237+3,947+1.29%
Jimmy CarterD1977-198180,69291,031+10,339+3.06%
Ronald ReaganR1981-198591,03796,353+ 5,322+1.43%
Ronald ReaganR1985-198996,353107,133+10,780+2.69%
George H.W. BushR1989-1993107,133109,805+ 2,672+0.62%
Bill ClintonD1993-1997109,805121,381+11,576+2.64%
Bill ClintonD1997-2001121,381132,696+11,315+2.33%
George W. BushR2001-2005132,696132,752+ 56+0.01%
George W. BushR2005-2009132,752133,977+ 1,225+0.23%
Barack ObamaD2009-2013133,977135,293+ 1,316+0.25%
Barack ObamaD2013-2015135,293142,875+ 7,609+1.98%
**Approximate
(Numbers listed from 1941 and onward are BLS data[2] of jobs (in thousands), and are shown from the year beginning and ending each presidential term. The monthly statistics are quoted from January, as U.S. presidents take office at the end of that month.
Source: Wikipedia

 

JOB CREATION BY PRESIDENT - SUMMARY (WIKIPEDIA)
U.S. PresidentPartyTerm YearsStart jobsEnd JobsCreated
Harding/CoolidgeR1921-192525,000 **29,500 **+ 4,500 **
Calvin Coolidge R1925-192929,500 ** 32,100 **+ 2,600 **
Herbert HooverR1929-193332,100 ** 25,700 **-6,400 **
Franklin RooseveltD1933-194925,700 ** 44,675+ 18,975
Harry TrumanD1949-195344,67550,145+ 5,470
Dwight EisenhowerR1953-196150,14553,683+ 3,538
Kennedy/Johnson D1961-196553,68359,583+ 5,900
Lyndon Johnson D1965-196959,58369,438+ 9,855
Richard NixonR1969-197369,43876,290+ 6,852
Nixon/FordR1973-197776,29080,237+3,947
Jimmy CarterD1977-198180,69291,031+10,339
Ronald ReaganR1981-198991,037107,133+16,096
George H.W. BushR1989-1993107,133109,805+ 2,672
Bill ClintonD1993-2001109,805132,696+22,891
George W. BushR2001-2009132,696133,977+ 1,281
Barack ObamaD2009-2015133,977142,875+ 8,898
Source: Wikipedia* NOTE: NUMBERS ARE IN THOUSANDS** ESTIMATES PRIOR TO BLS

 

NET SURPLUS / SHORTAGE OF JOBS W/ DROPPED WORKERS INCLUDED
PRESIDENTJOBS CREATEDPEOPLE ADDED TO NOT IN LABOR FORCENET SURPLUS / SHORTAGE IN JOBS
CARTER10,495,0001,051,0009,444,000
REAGAN15,963,0001,702,00014,261,000
G.H.W. BUSH2,590,0002,976,000-386,000
CLINTON23,235,0004,926,00018,309,000
G.W. BUSH2,113,00010,292,000-8,179,000
OBAMA8,302,00013,533,000-5,231,000

 

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE - DETAILED DATA W/ AVERAGES
PRESIDENTYEARJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC ANNUAL
AVERAGE
PRESIDENTIAL
TERM AVERAGE
CARTER197761.661.962.062.162.262.462.162.362.362.462.862.762.2
197862.862.762.863.063.163.363.263.263.363.363.563.663.1
197963.663.863.863.563.363.563.663.663.863.763.763.963.7
198064.064.063.763.863.963.763.863.763.663.763.863.663.863.2
REAGAN198163.963.964.164.264.363.763.863.863.563.863.963.663.9
198263.763.863.863.964.263.964.064.164.164.164.264.164.0
198363.963.863.763.863.764.364.164.364.364.064.164.164.0
198463.964.164.164.364.564.664.664.464.464.464.564.664.4
198564.764.764.964.964.864.664.764.664.965.064.965.064.8
198664.965.065.165.165.265.465.465.365.465.465.465.365.2
198765.465.565.565.465.765.565.665.765.565.765.765.765.6
198865.865.965.765.865.765.865.966.165.966.066.266.165.964.7
GHW BUSH198966.566.366.366.466.366.566.566.566.466.566.666.566.4
199066.866.766.766.666.666.466.566.566.466.466.466.466.5
199166.266.266.366.466.266.266.166.066.266.166.166.066.2
199266.366.266.466.566.666.766.766.666.566.266.366.366.466.4
CLINTON199366.266.266.266.166.466.566.466.466.266.366.366.466.3
199466.666.666.566.566.666.466.466.666.666.766.766.766.6
199566.866.866.766.966.566.566.666.666.666.666.566.466.6
199666.466.666.666.766.766.766.966.766.967.067.067.066.8
199767.066.967.167.167.167.167.267.267.167.167.267.267.1
199867.167.167.167.067.067.067.067.067.267.267.167.267.1
199967.267.267.067.167.167.167.167.067.067.067.167.167.1
200067.367.367.367.367.167.166.966.966.966.866.967.067.166.8
GW BUSH200167.267.167.266.966.766.766.866.566.866.766.766.766.8
200266.566.866.666.766.766.666.566.666.766.666.466.366.6
200366.466.466.366.466.466.566.266.166.166.166.165.966.2
200466.166.066.065.966.066.166.166.065.865.966.065.966.0
200565.865.965.966.166.166.166.166.266.166.166.066.066.0
200666.066.166.266.166.166.266.166.266.166.266.366.466.2
200766.466.366.265.966.066.066.065.866.065.866.066.066.0
200866.266.066.165.966.166.166.166.166.066.065.965.866.066.2
OBAMA200965.765.865.665.765.765.765.565.465.165.065.064.665.4
201064.864.964.965.264.964.664.664.764.664.464.664.364.7
201164.264.164.264.264.164.064.064.164.264.164.164.064.1
201263.763.863.863.763.763.863.763.563.763.863.663.763.7
201363.663.463.363.463.463.463.363.263.362.863.062.963.2
201462.963.063.262.862.862.862.962.962.862.962.962.762.9
201562.962.862.762.762.862.662.662.662.462.562.562.662.663.8
201662.7
Source: BLS

 

LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE SUMMARY
PRESIDENTYEARSPRESIDENTIAL
TERM AVERAGE
CARTER1977 - 198063.2
REAGAN1981 - 198864.7
GHW BUSH1989 - 199266.4
CLINTON1993 - 200066.8
GW BUSH2001 - 200866.2
OBAMA2009 - 2015 (so far)63.8
Source: BLS

 

JOB GAINS & LOSSES BY PRESIDENT - DETAILED DATA BY YEAR W/ AVERAGES
YearJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC ANNUAL NET JOBS JOBS CREATED BY PRESIDENTJOBS LOST BY PRESIDENT TOTAL NET JOBSPRESIDENT
1939178179-186206202-8324436937661701616
194064112111-12618098-364104584554035042633
194130836425037571346948640729111376803932
19422431664234164202564435172672601582423811
194325722315894-51185-80-155-61190145-74831
1944-91-111-252-229-78-38-42-55-178373149-88513864-192611938FDR
1945367-108-353-139-155-276-406-196799398115-2749
1946720-581942716440384420490266185303-184267
19471602443-114146170-6521624221472921200
1948103-145144-31142523812716119-44-57-1654508072-49043168FDR / Truman
1949-358-171-262-8-248-243-21093162-834295272-1512
195011-23065442434236637073425427066773338
1951433289294-1597115-6-53-54541391611454
1952-11224-1811229-359-14277939627921834818558357-32225135Truman
1953-19194136-43593114-49-122-123-335-205-462
1954-234-86-22420-213-69-61-105762234153-371
19551661473192842652781951261511691612132474
19561701921288013178-630676-29180411081125
1957-422096081-89-83573-194-167-206-174-545
1958-308-501-276-273-114-1125194275-20458144-297
1959392207329304229130124-46995-702765402087
196099239-55354-339-126-43-33-43-84-182-218-43110142-65623580Eisenhower
1961-61-127106-36159192146175901342211281127
196220296893262517102921396415-281157
196388114922583642136116167207-291051332
196412726414724167132192206284-10942320420616067-3905677JFK / LBJ
19651622172032562331982732652622282793242900
19662072683962442753991912061372101651812879
196720721102-6315213113725522614781971700
1968-95410802609825122120315923326526123469983-1589825LBJ
196919226220516725630893277-89203-331531994
1970-64128148-104-225-9424-12015-429-110381-450
197176-605317821066255247252042621318
1972337207293218304293-5243012541029430331627404-13806024Nixon
1973351396268170191241242551103303061232765
19746915042861655533-16-818-368-604-378
1975-360-378-270-188162-10324938675305145338361
197648831123224319651711571881333221124307473-22955178Nixon / Ford
19772442964033383603993482384582623792353960
19781873535137023464422542761373364372824265
1979137244426-62373318106822815794972000
198012980112-144-431-320-26226011328125719527011714-121910495Carter
198194681057310197112-36-87-99-209-278-50
1982-326-5-130-280-45-243-342-158-181-277-123-14-2124
1983224-75172276277379418-30811152713533563458
19844464812753633083793132423102863491283880
19852661243461962741461901932031882091672502
198612510794187127-943181143471861862051902
19871722322493382261723471712284922322943153
198894453276245229363222124339268339290324219273-331015963Reagan
19892622581931731181164049250111277961943
19903352492144015124-32-216-89-159-150-56311
1991-120-305-158-211-12597-40103217-5826-835
199252-635415912668711383618213621211714372-17822590GHW Bush
1993309242-493082661823011562402862633122816
19942712004653503333153732823532134202773852
1995324204221162-15234962532441531491332158
1996-194322671633222872491792252502991712825
1997234303316292260266306-315123403063033407
19982761961512804042191293422231992823463047
19991264101073762112603261602144002932963179
2000230130468287227-47176-10136-14226142195123420-18523235Clinton
2001-2672-25-281-38-131-112-157-240-325-293-170-1726
2002-138-134-20-79-757-85-14-5912610-157-500
200392-150-209-44-8924-4210419817122113
2004162463322493087644121164346641302042
200513423913636517424737619468853371592514
2006278316281183238220718115842081712092
2007240901897914378-33-248885115971147
200819-86-78-210-185-165-209-266-452-473-769-695-35698702-65892113GW Bush
2009-791-703-823-686-351-470-329-212-219-200-7-279-5070
201028-69163243522-133-70-34-52257123881066
20114218822534673235701072462021462072087
201233825723975115871431901811321492432149
2013190311135192218146140269185189291452311
20141871682723102133062322182862003312923015
201522126584251273228277150149295280271274413730-5428
20161722428302Obama
Source: BLSNOTE: NUMBERS REPRESENT THOUSANDS (ex: 242 = 242,000)

 

U-3 UNEMPLOYMENT - DETAILED DATA W/ AVERAGES BY PRESIDENT
YEARJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC ANNUAL AVERAGE UNEMPLOYMENT AVERAGE BY PRESIDENTPRESIDENT
19483.43.843.93.53.63.63.93.83.73.843.8
19494.34.755.36.16.26.76.86.67.96.46.66.1
19506.56.46.35.85.55.454.54.44.24.24.35.2
19513.73.43.43.133.23.13.13.33.53.53.13.3
19523.23.12.92.9333.23.43.132.82.73.04.4%TRUMAN
19532.92.62.62.72.52.52.62.72.93.13.54.52.9
19544.95.25.75.95.95.65.866.15.75.355.6
19554.94.74.64.74.34.244.24.14.34.24.24.4
195643.94.244.34.34.44.13.93.94.34.24.1
19574.23.93.73.94.14.34.24.14.44.55.15.24.3
19585.86.46.77.47.47.37.57.47.16.76.26.26.8
195965.95.65.25.155.15.25.55.75.85.35.5
19605.24.85.45.25.15.45.55.65.56.16.16.65.54.9%EISENHOWER
19616.66.96.977.16.976.66.76.56.166.7
19625.85.55.65.65.55.55.45.75.65.45.75.55.6
19635.75.95.75.75.95.65.65.45.55.55.75.55.6
19645.65.45.45.35.15.24.955.15.14.855.25.8%JFK / LBJ
19654.95.14.74.84.64.64.44.44.34.24.144.5
196643.83.83.83.93.83.83.83.73.73.63.83.8
19673.93.83.83.83.83.93.83.83.843.93.83.8
19683.73.83.73.53.53.73.73.53.43.43.43.43.63.9%LBJ
19693.43.43.43.43.43.53.53.53.73.73.53.53.5
19703.94.24.44.64.84.955.15.45.55.96.15.0
19715.95.965.95.95.966.165.8666.0
19725.85.75.85.75.75.75.65.65.55.65.35.25.65.0%NIXON
19734.954.954.94.94.84.84.84.64.84.94.9
19745.15.25.15.15.15.45.55.55.966.67.25.6
19758.18.18.68.898.88.68.48.48.48.38.28.5
19767.97.77.67.77.47.67.87.87.67.77.87.87.76.7%NIXON / FORD
19777.57.67.47.277.26.976.86.86.86.47.1
19786.46.36.36.165.96.25.965.85.966.1
19795.95.95.85.85.65.75.765.965.965.9
19806.36.36.36.97.57.67.87.77.57.57.57.27.26.5%CARTER
19817.57.47.47.27.57.57.27.47.67.98.38.57.6
19828.68.999.39.49.69.89.810.110.410.810.89.7
198310.410.410.310.210.110.19.49.59.28.88.58.39.6
198487.87.87.77.47.27.57.57.37.47.27.37.5
19857.37.27.27.37.27.47.47.17.17.1777.2
19866.77.27.27.17.27.276.9776.96.67.0
19876.66.66.66.36.36.26.165.965.85.76.2
19885.75.75.75.45.65.45.45.65.45.45.35.35.57.5%REAGAN
19895.45.255.25.25.35.25.25.35.35.45.45.3%
19905.45.35.25.45.45.25.55.75.95.96.26.35.6
19916.46.66.86.76.96.96.86.96.9777.36.9
19927.37.47.47.47.67.87.77.67.67.37.47.47.56.3%GHW BUSH
19937.37.177.17.176.96.86.76.86.66.56.9
19946.66.66.56.46.16.16.165.95.85.65.56.1
19955.65.45.45.85.65.65.75.75.65.55.65.65.6
19965.65.55.55.65.65.35.55.15.25.25.45.45.4
19975.35.25.25.14.954.94.84.94.74.64.74.9
19984.64.64.74.34.44.54.54.54.64.54.44.44.5
19994.34.44.24.34.24.34.34.24.24.14.144.2
200044.143.84444.13.93.93.93.94.05.2%CLINTON
20014.24.24.34.44.34.54.64.955.35.55.74.7
20025.75.75.75.95.85.85.85.75.75.75.965.8
20035.85.95.966.16.36.26.16.165.85.76.0
20045.75.65.85.65.65.65.55.45.45.55.45.45.5
20055.35.45.25.25.1554.95554.95.1
20064.74.84.74.74.64.64.74.74.54.44.54.44.6
20074.64.54.44.54.44.64.74.64.74.74.754.6
200854.95.155.45.65.86.16.16.56.87.35.85.3%GW BUSH
20097.88.38.799.49.59.59.69.8109.99.99.3
20109.89.89.99.99.69.49.49.59.59.49.89.39.6
20119.1999.199.19998.88.68.58.9
20128.38.38.28.28.28.28.28.17.87.87.77.98.1
201387.77.57.67.57.57.37.37.37.26.96.77.4
20146.66.76.76.26.26.16.26.265.75.85.66.2
20155.75.55.55.45.55.35.35.15.15555.37.8%OBAMA
20164.9
Source: BLS

 

 

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