We hear a lot about this fictional liberal land under President Obama, where job creation was killed by Obamacare and liberal ideas have destroyed the country. Reality, of course, is quite different. In fact, reality is almost the exact opposite. For Bush’s entire 8 years, job growth was just 1.1 million. Yet under Obama, the private sector has had 48 straight months of job growth, with businesses adding 8.7 million jobs.
Today’s job numbers are a good example of the disconnect. “Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent, changed little,” per Erica L. Groshen, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, put these numbers in perspective in a statement in which he explained that February was the 48th straight month of private sector job growth, “February 2014 was the 48th straight month of private-sector job growth, with businesses adding 8.7 million jobs over that time.”
This matters because we hear a lot from Republicans about how Obama is killing jobs. However, Rick Newman pointed out in January of 2013 for US News that in Bush’s first term, he created zero job growth, even before the Bush recession. “When Bush began his first term in January 2001, total nonfarm employment was 132.47 million. When his second term began four years later, it was 132.45 million, or effectively zero job growth.”
So, even though we know math is not a GOP forte, I am hoping we can all agree that zero is smaller than any number above zero. Newman continued the math, “From February 2001 to February 2005, the economy created 164,000 jobs, for a 0.1 percent gain during Bush’s first term. From February 2009 through December 2012, the economy created nearly 1.2 million jobs, a 0.9 percent improvement.”
Republicans built that zero to .1 percent gain job growth. In Bush’s entire 8 year term, total job growth was just 1.1 million. Obama created more jobs in his first term than Bush did in his entire 2 terms. Although we have to hand public sector job growth to Bush. Yes, the Big Government Republicans don’t like to talk about reality much. They killed public sector jobs under Obama, in an attempt to make his job numbers look bad and cripple government, but ironically, this is only making Obama the Private Sector Job Growth President.
While things are far from great, Republicans really shouldn’t be pointing fingers and tittering about job numbers that are much better than their party created.
Job numbers are typically impacted by bad weather but the job growth rate still picked up. Jason Furman explained, “Despite a major snowstorm that hit the East Coast during the reference week for the labor market surveys, the rate of job growth picked up from the December and January pace.”
But as always with this one-party attempt to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, things are not rosy. We have a long way to go. Furman continued, “Nevertheless, the unemployment rate remains elevated, and for too many Americans, wages have been slow to rise.”
What to do about this… We could do a) Nothing (the Republican Plan) except kill emergency unemployment benefit extension or b) Consider the President’s budget which includes job training and other job stimulating policies.
Furman elaborated, “This week, the President put out a budget that can make progress on these issues by investing in education, job training, and innovation, by expanding tax credits for working Americans, and by extending the emergency unemployment benefits that has expired for 2 million Americans. And while the President encourages Congress to act on his proposals, he will also continue to take action on his own wherever possible to support job growth and expand economic opportunity.”
Republicans already said they would not consider the President’s budget, so Obama is already working with governors in a regional effort to raise the minimum wage. The Republicans in Congress not only don’t want to raise the minimum wage, but are now making noise about killing it all together. They just threw 2 million off of emergency unemployment benefits in addition to blocking a bill for veterans benefits as well.
When it comes to which party we can trust with the economy and with jobs, contrary to conventional wisdom, it is the Democratic Party that paid for programs as they went, balanced the budget, got a surplus, added more jobs, and stayed a steady course instead of the rickety Republican rise and crash style of totally unregulated industry. This is not to claim that things are great. We have a lot of work to do, especially for the middle and working classes. But Democrats will have to do that work alone, as Republicans have made it clear that they will do nothing but obstruct any efforts to make things better.