Economic Progress Under Obama #2

This is the second in the series.  I made a comment to a friend that Obama has left the economy in better shape than Bush.  He was incredulous and said, “you’re smarter than that”–which is a roundabout way of saying I was being stupid.

In general, I don’t think I’m stupid.  I have reasons for what I think and they’re not just because Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity told me what to think.  In fact, for years I used to listen to those two, and then I had an online friend challenge me.  He used to say crazy shit like “the economy does better under Democratic presidents” and other things.  I challenged him on it, and he said to look it up.  Well, I did, and damn if he wasn’t right.

Next, let’s talk about jobs under Obama.  Everyone knows that Bush created a lot more jobs than Obama, right? How many times have the Republicans said it?  However, there is data on the subject at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  If you want to search for the particular data I acquired, search for “private sector jobs’.  It will give you the last 10 years.  Change the beginning search date from 2006 to 2001.  My search is for 2001 – 2016 which contains the Bush and Obama years.  The graph looks like this:

Private Sector Jobs from 2001 – 2016

The raw data I downloaded from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is here.

If you look at the raw data in January 2001 to January 2009, the number of people employed goes from 111,870,000 to 111,474,000, or a net loss of 396,000 jobs during Bush’s time in Office.  If you look at the data for Obama, the number of employed goes from 111,474,000 to 122,883,000 (estimated) in November 2016.  (These numbers are always preliminary until the final numbers come in.) For Obama’s two terms, the economy gained more than 11,000,000 jobs.  So, Bush lost approximately 400K jobs and Obama gained 11M jobs.  In the math I was taught, Obama’s numbers are way better than Bush’s numbers.  In fact, it isn’t even close.  If I ask someone, would you rather loose $400,000 or gain $11,000,000, most would choose the gain.

The final piece to look at in the graphs is the slope of the curve.  In 2009, the slope of the curve is negative which is to say the economy is losing jobs as Bush is handing the job off to Obama.  As we approach 2017, the slope is positive which is to say the economy is gaining jobs as Obama is handing the economy off to Trump.

So, when comparing jobs, it is a double win for Obama.  The economy gained jobs under Obama’s care AND the number of jobs is increasing rather than decreasing as he hands off the job to his successor.


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