I posted an article earlier this month comparing the monthly unemployment rate under President George W. Bush with the most recently available unemployment data under President Obama. However, many of my left-leaning readers were also interested in a comparison of George W. Bush versus Bill Clinton.
So, against my better judgement, I conceded to their demands.
On total private sector employment, the numbers were not even close.
Clinton’s employment record creamed Bush’s
From January 1993 to December 2000, businesses created over 21 million jobs. Businesses only created 141,000 under the Bush Administration.
Businesses created nearly 150 times as many private sector jobs under President Clinton than they did under President Bush.
Of course, the Clinton administration did not face September 11th, two wars, Hurricane Katrina, and a full-blown financial crisis.
That said, the point is not to assess blame or credit on either administration, it is merely to report the facts.
Despite presiding over a much more robust environment for job creation, President Clinton presided over an economy that had a surprisingly similar average unemployment rate to that during President’s Bush’s tenure — 5.2 vs. 5.3%.
However, I suspect that the difference is mainly due to the fact that the Bush presidency was marked by a steady decline in the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate measures the number of people in the labor force as a percentage of the total working-age population.
Therefore, the unemployment rate likely remained low under Bush because many of the unemployed simply stopped looking for jobs.
Again, employment statistics are the result of a myriad of complex factors. I will leave it to my readers to determine why there was such a pronounced difference in employment statistics between the two presidencies.