Update: Click here for the most recent jobs statistics.
Some left-leaning sites have pointed to the chart above as a sign that Obama’s economic policies are a smashing success because total private sector employment has consistently increased in the last thirteen months.
However, the problem with this chart is that it misleadingly shows Bush’s last year in office, his worst year, as a foil to Obama’s first two years and three months in office.
This selective presentation of the data makes Bush’s record look abysmal compared to President Obama’s numbers.
However, the unemployment rate is currently a whopping 8.8% and it still has not declined to President Bush’s 7.3% high in December 2008.
Furthermore, if one includes President Bush’s entire record, it looks far better than President Obama’s record to date. Over President Bush’s entire presidency, the private sector created a net 188,000 jobs (not including January 2001 data). Surprisingly, this number includes the 3.78 million private sector jobs lost in 2008.
In contrast, under President Obama’s administration, the private sector lost a net 3.25 million private sector jobs.
The point of this argument is not to assess blame on either administration’s policy. It simply puts the left’s claims in perspective.
For every job that the private sector created under George W. Bush, the private sector eliminated 17.3 jobs under Barack Obama. While the private sector job outlook has certainly improved, the economy still must create 3.25 million private sector jobs to break even. Until then, it is disingenuous for the left to claim that President Obama’s economic policies are a resounding success.