I have posted a number of articles recently comparing President Obama’s employment record to George W. Bush’s, and President George W. Bush’s record to President Clinton’s.
Out of curiosity, I decided to compare President Obama’s employment record with that of another Democratic president — namely, Jimmy Carter.
Many on the right have much maligned President Carter’s economic record. However, in the area of employment, his record positively shines in comparison to President Obama’s thus far.
President Carter’s tenure began with unemployment at 7.5%, only 30 basis points lower than it was when President Obama first assumed office in January 2009. However, the average unemployment rate for President Carter’s first two and a half years in office was 6.4%. The unemployment rate under President Obama has averaged 9.4%.
The labor force participation rate also started at a much lower base when President Carter first took office compared with the rate under President Obama. However, during Carter’s first two and half years in office, the labor force participation rate steadily increased. For President Obama, the rate has moved in the opposite direction, as people have become discouraged and stopped looking for employment.
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 during the first two and a half years of each respective administration.
That said, the American people did not re-elect President Carter, and his employment record was better at this point in his presidency than it currently is for President Obama.