Obama's Post Recession Job Record in Historical Context

Obama campaign spin is headed our way. He has turned around the economy, they will say, and employment numbers prove it. In 2011 over a million new jobs were created. We've turned the corner, the plan is working, so we must stay the course.  By any historical standard, Obama's job performance is pathetic.

The jobs numbers for December are not yet released and the stats for October and November will be revised once or twice. But at the current stage, the economy gained 1,445,000 jobs in 2011; the most since 2006 when a smaller economy gained two million-plus jobs, yet the Republicans still lost both Houses of Congress that year.

The 1.44 million jobs gained in 2011 is an improvement over the almost one million jobs gained in 2010, and is way better than the millions of jobs lost in the preceding two years. However, the job losses were not destined to continue forever. Moreover, 8.2 (yes, eight point two) million net jobs were gained in the 29 months following the steep and long 1981-1982 recession, and 2.58 million jobs were gained following the short and light recession that ended March 1991. These numbers surpass the poor 1.21 million net jobs gained in the 29 months following the last recession. (The picture is worse if placed in the context of population and economic sizes of then versus now.)

Yes, President Obama can argue that he had a steep and long recession, but so did Reagan, yet he produced 285,517 jobs per month in the same period that Obama produced only 41,896 jobs per month. More shocking: President Ford created 171,368 jobs per month in the nineteen months after the long 1974-1975 recession through October of 1976; the month before he lost reelection.

An argument can be made that the steeper the contraction, the stronger the roar back needs to be. Yet, Obama's post-recession monthly average on jobs is less than half the 89,103 monthly average jobs produced in the 29 months following the short recession that ended in March 1991; i.e. six months before Bill Clinton announced in October 1991 that he is running for President, and almost two years before Clinton came into office in January 1993.

Yossi Gestetner blogs at GestetnerUpdates.Com


The 29 month count in this article starts the month after the end of a recession. For example, the last recession ended June 2009, so the 29 months starts July 2009. Here are jobs stats in more detail:

- 6,425,000 jobs gained in the 29 months following the end of the steep and long 1975 recession (221,551 monthly average)

- 8,280,000 jobs gained in the 29 months following the end of the seep and long 1982 recession. (285,517 monthly average)

- 2,584,000 jobs gained in the 29 months following the end of the short and lite 1991 recession. (89,103 monthly average).

- 150,000 jobs gained in the 29 months following the end of the 2001 recession (5,172 jobs per month). Note: This recession ended November 2001, which was shortly after the 9/11 attacks and the revelations of the business corruption. Both had lasting negative affects on the job market; yet despite these massive shock waves to the economy, the US didn't slip back into recession.

-  1,215,000 jobs gained in the 29 months following the end of the 2009 recession. (41,896 monthly average)

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