Democratic Presidents Bring It: Obama Shatters Clinton’s Record For Private Sector Job Growth

Democratic Presidents Bring It: Obama Shatters Clinton’s Record For Private Sector Job Growth

Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

What do President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama have in common? They both presided over record setting streaks of private sector job growth.

The Department of Labor announced Friday that the economy added 142,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped (little change) to 6.1%. The private sector has added 10 million jobs over 54 straight months, with private businesses adding 134,000 jobs in this report. President Obama has shattered Bill Clinton’s previous record of 51 consecutive months of private sector job growth. This is an extension of the longest streak on record for private sector job growth and it happened under a Democratic President.

Upon release of the new jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, noted, “The private sector has added 10 million jobs over 54 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 142,000 in August, mainly reflecting a 134,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth was revised up for July and down for June for little total revisions. Over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by a total of 2.4 million.”

Chart via Jason Furman:


This surge in private sector job growth is the opposite of what Republicans told the public would occur under a Democratic President. Republicans claim to be the party of business and of the markets, yet time and time again, we see consistent growth under a Democrat.

Furman further noted that the other time we added 10 million private sector jobs was between November of 1996 to April of 2001. Former President Bill Clinton served as President from 1993 to 2001. It’s almost as if as soon as he left office, the private sector began weeping jobs.

An excellent record of job growth under a Democratic President is not an anomaly. President Clinton added a total of 23.1 million jobs, while George W. Bush only added 3 million over his entire 8 year term and his father, George H.W. Bush, only added 2.5 million but he did that over one term. Heck, Ronald Reagan only added 16 million jobs, and he is held up by Republicans as the business God.

All is not rosy, however, “Although the pace of job gains in August was below recent months, the broader trends are moving in the right direction.” Furthermore, “Long-term unemployment has fallen rapidly over the past year but remains well above its pre-recession average.” That recession started in 2007.

It is largely thanks to the Congressional Republican that the unemployment numbers are not better. Not only have House Republicans refused to pass a real jobs bill, but they’ve also been engaged in a desperate defunding war on government and public sector employees. This specific poutfest is years old now.

Furman said in his statement that the report proves we need to do more to create jobs, “With today’s report, the economy has now added 10 million private-sector jobs over 54 straight months of job growth. This figure is a marker of the progress that has been made, but also a reminder that more must still be done to create jobs, especially for the long-term unemployed, and grow the middle class. Although the pace of job gains in August was below recent months, the broader trends are moving in the right direction. To continue to support the progress our economy has made, the President will act wherever he can to create good jobs, facilitate investments in American infrastructure and manufacturing, and make sure that hard work pays off with higher wages.”

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred in her statement, “Today’s jobs report shows our economy continuing to move forward. It is clear, however, that Republicans’ special interest obstruction and dysfunction are stalling the middle class and costing our country jobs.”

Pelosi continued, “Across the country, Americans are raising a drumbeat for action, calling for a Congress committed to creating jobs, jumpstarting the middle class, and building an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy. They want us to spend September creating good paying jobs, raising the minimum wage, renewing emergency unemployment insurance, standing with students, and giving America’s women the respect of equal pay for equal work. Yet House Republicans continue to insist on putting the special interests ahead of everyone else, planning yet another month of special interest giveaways – including their 53rd vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

The next time someone calls Republicans the party of business and private sector success, just point them to the Obama stock market and the private sector job growth under Clinton and Obama.

Then you can kindly point out that when Republicans talk about “business” it is really a euphemism for catering to a select few big businesses that donate heavily to the GOP and whose profit margins grow when they are allowed to harm and even kill U.S. citizens through deregulation and underfunded government agencies. If your “business” is death and disease, then the GOP is your party. If it’s jobs you’re looking for, private sector job creation has been best under a Obama and then Clinton.

Imagine what a Democratic Congress might accomplish.


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