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Friday, January 10, 2014

How Many Jobs has Obama Created or Lost? (December 2013 update)


How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama as of December 2013?  How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?

How many new jobs in the last 4 1/2 years since Obama was inaugurated?  
How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?


Numbers for December with latest revisions:

Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 7.6 million MORE jobs in total
  • 8.2 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 6.6 million MORE people working
How many workers were full-time or part-time at the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 compared to now?

  • 6.7 million MORE people working full-time.
  • 107,000 FEWER people working part-time.  
  • (Yes, despite what you may have heard, from the depth of the recession until now, we have actually LOST part-time jobs.  When a recession hits, companies generally cut back on full-time workers first.  When companies start hiring again, the number of full-time workers increases.)

Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 3.2 million MORE jobs in total
  • 4.0 million MORE private sector jobs
  • 2.4 million MORE people working

How many workers were full-time or part-time when Obama was inaugurated compared to now?

  • 1.5 million MORE people working full-time
  • 1.0 million MORE people working part-time  

Have any private jobs been lost (net) over the past 
46 months since February 2010?
NO!
  • 46 months of consecutive private-sector job growth.

Have any jobs been lost (net) over the past 39 months since September 2010?

NO!
  • 39 months of consecutive overall job growth.
Are more people unemployed now than when Obama took office in January 2009?  
NO!
  • Despite 727,000 MORE people in the labor force (either working or actively looking for work) now vs. January 2009, there are 1,707,000 FEWER people unemployed now than in January 2009. 






What's the difference between "net" and "gross" jobs gained and lost?


Let's get something straight:  Jobs are lost every week and every month.  People are fired, people are laid off, businesses or locations are closed and everybody is let go. 
 

Also people quit every week.  You yourself, dear reader,  may have quit a job at some point in time. 


But people are also HIRED every week and every month.  New businesses open, businesses expand, businesses replace people who have left or been fired.  Every week.  You yourself, dear reader, may have been hired for a job at some point in time.This happens in good times and bad. 

Yes, even in bad times, people are getting hired.  Even in good times, people are let go.  

Now:  The monthly jobs reportupon which this article is based, presents estimates based on surveys as to how many jobs are gained or lost in a given month.  Those numbers are based on the number of new jobs (people getting hired, businesses opening) MINUS the number of jobs that have been cut (people getting fired, people quitting, businesses closing or cutting back).

The monthly jobs report therefore reports NET job growth or loss.  


For 39 months in this country, we have had MORE jobs being added than we have had jobs being cut.  For 46 months in the private sector (not counting federal workers, state or local workers such as teachers, firemen, cops, or people who staff the DMV, only counting people who work for private businesses), we have had MORE jobs added than we have had jobs being cut.


To reiterate:  How many jobs have been created in the last 4 1/2 years versus how many jobs have been lost?
All numbers provided on monthly jobs reports, which is what the series on jobs created/lost under Obama is based, are NET jobs numbers.  In other words, they reflect gains after all job losses are subtracted, or they reflect job losses after all gains are added. 
For the past 46 months (as of December 2013), we have had NET gains in private jobs numbers every month.  In other words, in every month since February 2010, more private jobs have been created than have been lost.  In every month since September 2010, more jobs in total have been created than have been lost.


Fact check and important information on these jobs numbers...

The above jobs numbers are from the BLS jobs report of December 2013, which was released in January 2014.  The surveys used to gather these numbers in December are taken as of the week which includes the 12th day of the month, in this case, December 12, 2013. 

16 comments:

  1. if this is at all true - why do we need to extend the unemployment benefits again? I truly believe your numbers are badly skewed - you cannot have it both ways. Millions of jobs made but still everyone who was not working still isnt working and needs federal money. I dont believe you.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously? Did you read somewhere here that everyone in America has a job? Benefits will always be neccesary. Ecspecially when there are only 5 "right to work states" where your employers can't just fire you on spot because hes having a bad day. What's next feather? Cut off benefits to children and the disabled. I know you've never drawn unemployment, neither have I because I was lucky enough to be helped by family when needed. Its very easy to pull the wool over your eyes when everything is going good for you. God forbid you ever need a little help and its not there!

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    2. Actually the Repubs and righties are the ones who can't have it both ways. They decry the slow recovery, complaining and complaining and complaining more that Obama's policies are "a failure", complaining that we still have SOOOOO many long-term unemployed.. but then they say we don't need to help those people.

      So: Is the recovery SOOO bad that things are still miserable out there? Or do those long-term unemployed not need extended benefits because there are SOOO many jobs out there?

      But let me explain: We lost over 8 million jobs during the recession, starting in late 2007/early 2008. 8.8 million private sector jobs gone. 8.4 fewer people were employed; 11.3 million fewer people were working FULL-TIME. In mid 2009, we had 6.7 jobseekers for every job opening out there. Things were bad, really and truly bad, in late 2008 and early 2009.

      Now.. have things improved? Dramatically, as the numbers above show.. 7.6 million more jobs, 8.2 million more private sector jobs, 6.6 million more people working, 6.7 million more people working full-time. As of November, we have only 2.7 jobseekers for every job opening out there.

      So do we still need extended unemployment benefits? Well, those jobseekers still face a lot of competition. 2.7 jobseekers is better than 6.7 jobseekers, but back in the late 90's and early 2000's, we had 1.1 jobseeker per job opening... or less. It's still tough for people to get jobs. You may not know this, feathers, but the number of weeks of help available is going down and has been going down as the unemployment rates of the various states go down. Nobody gets 99 weeks of unemployment anymore, and that's been true for about two years now.

      So extend unemployment benefits as they were in 2013: As the unemployment rate goes down, the weeks of available benefits goes down.

      It would be nice if the Repubs were serious about more jobs by supporting the many Dem jobs bills that have been introduced, but I wouldn't put any money on the Repubs trying to help the people of this country.

      And don't buy the "Republicans in the House have passed dozens of jobs bills, but the Dems in the Senate have refused to vote on them." Don't be fooled. Those aren't jobs bills. They are anti-environmental bills, anti-labor bills, anti-regulation bills. If you have actually read those bills and think that they will help this country, then we have no grounds for communication, unfortunately.

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    3. Thanks for your comment, riverview82. Some of the righties can't understand this dichotomy: Things are much better, yes, but they still aren't as good as we need them to be for the good of the people in this country. So people still need help.

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    4. During Obama's first term, we have a net gain of 1,208,000 jobs (134,839,000 jobs in 1/2013 - 133,631,000 jobs in 1/2009).
      Source: Jobs created during U.S. presidential terms - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._presidential_terms

      Moreover, we lost 8,736,000 jobs between 1/1/2008 (Bush's final year) and 2/1/2010 (Obama's first year in office). But yet we only gain 1.2 million jobs during Obama's first term -- the worst recovery in terms of jobs since the Great Depression.
      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Employment_Changes_-_Total_Non-Farm_1970_to_Present.png

      According to the table of Jobs created during U.S. presidential terms - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._presidential_terms, both Bush and Obama have not done well at all when compare with past presidents' performances from either party. Bush scores about 0.21% and Obama gets 0.23% in average annual increase in net job gains.

      If you factor in the labor force participation rate, increases in national debt, unemployment rate, etc., things look even worse.

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  2. Let me add that from the late 1940s until the early 1990s, the U.S. economy never took more than a year to regain all the jobs lost during recessions. In the current recovery, it has now taken more than 45 months and the economy is still unable to return to the previous jobs peak.

    Source: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/25/at-42-months-and-counting-current-job-recovery-is-slowest-since-truman-was-president/

    However, I do agree that unemployment benefits should be provided. In particular, the government should have allocated much more unemployment benefits during the passing of the stimulus bill. It could have provided longer extensions or at least extend the benefits until the unemployment rate falls below a certain level. Also, much more stimulus funds should have been allocated to building/fixing the roads and bridges throughout the country.

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    1. I'm not sure what your point is, as this has been the deepest, most destructive recession since the Great Recession. And, of course, Obama has not had the Congressional support of FDR in terms of policies to help pull us out of the recession.

      It's not surprising that this recovery has been so miserable.

      I'm not sure how "the government" could have allocated much more in terms of unemployment benefits. People were generally supportive of 99 weeks, but I remember discussions of extensions back in 2010, when the unemployment rate was still high and the ratio of jobseekers to job openings was still impossible, and there were many people who thought that 99 weeks were too much. And every extension, starting in 2010 going forward has been a fight.

      As it is, the legislation that was in effect until December keyed the number of available weeks of unemployment to the unemployment rate of the various states. As the unemployment rate dropped, the weeks of benefits dropped as well. I personally think that those kinds of extensions need to be permanent... Let the unemployment rate dictate the number of weeks of UI extensions vs. political considerations.

      A big chunk of the ARRA stimulus involved fixes to bridges and roads... We had 2 or 3 summers of road work here, almost all of it with big ARRA signs. Projects that had languished for years were completed. But I agree that we still desperately need infrastructure repair. Fat chance unless the Dems take back the House.

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    2. >I'm not sure what your point is.. Obama has not had the Congressional support of FDR...

      Please read the link above and you will understand. Again, the link is: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/25/at-42-months-and-counting-current-job-recovery-is-slowest-since-truman-was-president

      Let's pick 1948-1949 recession as an example. The GOP had held the majority in both the House and the Senate during this period. Yet it took President Truman's administration 9 months to regain all the jobs lost during the downturn.

      The same can be said about 1981-1982 recession. President Reagan also did not have a supermajority in Congress, but it took 11 months to recover. In fact, the Democrats held the majority in the House and the Republicans controlled the Senate.

      The point is President Obama has performed very poorly against past presidents' recovery efforts from either party. In the current recovery, it has now taken more than 45 months and the economy is still unable to return to the previous jobs peak.

      In fact, the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate during the first 2 years of president Obama's first term and he got to spend hundreds of billions on various programs.

      >Let the unemployment rate dictate the number of weeks of UI extensions vs. political considerations.
      It sounds like you finally agree with me on this point after all.

      >A big chunk of the ARRA stimulus involved fixes to bridges and roads...
      FDR spent much more in terms of percentage on infrastructure.

      Delete
  3. CNN just reports that the job market finally returns to the 2008 level. However, given population growth since 2008, the economy actually needs 7 million more jobs to return to a healthy state.

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/06/investing/may-jobs-report/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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    Replies
    1. I just wrote this comment elsewhere: "We have now recouped all jobs (in numbers) that were lost during the Recession. In January 2008 there were 138,365,000 jobs and now there are 138,463,000 jobs. Of course, the population has increased and we still need more jobs for those "extra" people. (However, we have 15 million extra people since January 2008, and 14.5 of those "extra" people are 55 years or over, and 8 million are actually 65 and over.)"

      So how many more jobs do we need for a population that, right now, is aging? Unless we want to force all 55+ people to work until they drop, we simply don't need as many jobs. Now there is much speculation as to what the "labor force participation rate" should be, but the labor force participatoin rate has gone up and down ever since it was first calculated. There is no "ideal" labor force participation rate.

      So here's a very quick calculation: 8 million more 65+ people, only 18% of them working: 1,440,000 more jobs needed. 6.5 million more 55-64 people, only 32.9% of them working: 2,483,000 more jobs needed. That's a total of 3.9 million more jobs needed.

      But the unemployment rate was 5% in January 2008 and it's 6.3% now. The various "calculators" out there assume that there are millions of people who want a job and aren't bothering to look. Now there are 1,500,000 more people now who claim to want a job vs. January 2008. So should we really assume that there are SO many miserable people out there just sitting around going through their savings and not even bother to look for work? I just don't buy it.

      Plus MOST of the people who moved to the "not in the labor force" bucket (not working, not looking) were previously EMPLOYED, not previously UNEMPLOYED.. That means that they probably left the labor force voluntarily, to retire, to go to school, to stay home with kids or aging parents.

      I think that 7 million is very, very high, and that the true number of jobs we need for a healthy state (however that is defined) is somewhere in 2 million to 4 million range.

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    2. Who is dropping out, and why?

      A popular view is that labor force participation is declining because older people are retiring. But since 2000 the labor force participation rates of workers 55 and over have been rising steadily, and the labor force participation rates of workers between 16 and 54 have been declining.

      What is clear is that the workforce is aging. Since the beginning of the recession in 2007, 2 million fewer Americans are employed. The 25 to 54 age group has seen a decline in employment of 6 million workers. The 55+ age group, in contrast, has seen an increase in employment of 4.8 million workers. Employment in the 16 to 24 group is down by 1.8 million.

      The labor force participation rate of Americans aged 55 and over has increased by 4.6 percentage points from 2003 to 2013. Both men and women have seen increases in labor force participation rates and employment levels.

      In contrast, for the 25 to 54 age group, the core group of workers in the labor force, participation rate has declined by 2 percentage points over the same time period, from 83 percent to 81 percent.

      The biggest decline in labor force participation rates can be observed for workers aged 16 to 24. In 2013, 55 percent were participating in the labor force, compared to 62 percent in 2003, a decline of 7 percentage points.

      If these young people were increasingly enrolled in school, then declining labor force participation might not be negative. They might be investing in education, resulting in better jobs later on in life. But no, the percentage of 16 to 24 year olds enrolled in high school, college, or university has risen by only three tenths of a percentage point over the past decade, from 56 percent to 56.3 percent.

      The 55+ are the winners. Compared with all other groups, unemployment rates were lowest for the 55+ age group in 2013 and have seen the smallest increase since the recession.

      Young workers entering the labor force are having a difficult time finding a job. Openings for unskilled workers often attract many more applicants than position. Colleges and professional schools have many graduates with no jobs.

      One reason for few jobs for younger workers is the increasing labor force participation rate of older workers who are delaying retirement, leaving fewer job openings for younger workers.

      Another reason is the slow GDP growth rate of around 2 percent, which results in low job creation. Younger workers, and middle-aged workers, become discouraged and drop out.

      Of course, with lengthening life expectancies, it is good news that older people show increasing rates of labor force participation. The economy needs faster growth so that jobs can be created for the core 25 to 54 group, as well as for younger people.

      Although many economic indicators are heading in a positive direction, last December jobs report highlighted the problem of the declining labor force participation rate, the percentage of people aged 16 and over who choose to work or look for work.

      The labor force participation rate moved back to 62.8 percent from its November level of 63 percent. In 2007, before the recession, 66 percent of Americans were in the labor force. Today's levels are equivalent to 1978, before the Reagan Revolution and the movement of women into the labor force during the 1980s.

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    3. The Worst Four Years Of GDP Growth In History: Yes, We Should Be Worried (Part 1)

      It is time America stopped talking about the recovery and started worrying about the economy. As the four-year anniversary since the economy last shrank approaches, we should focus on its subpar growth. It is time to ask what impact government has had on the economy over the short- and long-term.

      America’s economy has not shrunk since Q2 of 2009. Yet, if the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates of just 1.4% real GDP growth this year prove true, America will have experienced its worst four consecutive growth years of GDP in the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ data going back to 1930.

      Looking at the economy in 10-year increments starting from 1948 (when declines from wartime spending had ended), averaging GDP’s annual growth percentage shows the following:

      •1948-57: 3.80%
      •1958-67: 4.28%
      •1968-77: 3.18%
      •1978-87: 3.15%
      •1988-97: 3.05%
      •1998-2007: 2.99%
      •2008-2013: 0.73%

      Even if 2008 (-0.3%) and 2009’s (-3.1%) negative annual GDP percentages are dropped (something undone for the other periods) and only the 2010-13 period is averaged, the result is just 1.95% – still over a full percentage point below the previous decade’s.

      That there was heady growth in the two decades following WWII makes sense. The U.S. had emerged as the world’s lone economic Super Power, with the rest of the world’s major economies either shattered by war or shuttered by communism. To understand America’s economic advantage, consider that of the IMF’s top ten 2012 national economies, only Brazil (#7) and India (#10) – accounting for just a combined 6.1% of today’s global GDP – were relatively untouched by WWII.

      As shattered economies recovered, and shuttered economies opened, with communism’s fall across much of the world, the global economic gap began to close. America’s economic growth slipped gradually but consistently – from 3.18% to 2.99% – over four decades.

      What we have seen over the last four years is unlike anything during the last seven decades. Such a dramatic break with the past, begs the question: Why? Does the financial crisis alone account for what we are seeing? For four years, we have sought to convince ourselves it does. Perhaps it is finally time we looked harder to see if the problem runs deeper.

      There has been a concerted government effort to compensate for the recent crisis – through tax cuts, “stimulative” spending and historically low interest rates. It is therefore natural to look at government actions over the last seven decades.

      Interestingly, taxes as a percentage of GDP do not show the great discrepancy that might be expected. In 1948, federal revenue equaled 16.2% of GDP. Under CBO’s estimate, taxes will equal 16.9% of GDP this year. Nor have they been high during the post-crisis period: 15.4% in 2011, 15.1% in 2010 and 2009, and 17.6% in 2008. All of these are below CBO’s calculated 40-year average of roughly 17.9%.

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  4. The Worst Four Years Of GDP Growth In History: Yes, We Should Be Worried(Part 2)

    However, federal spending has been an entirely different story. In 1948, federal outlays equaled 11.6% of GDP. CBO estimates that they will equal 22.2% in 2013 – almost doubled. And they have been far higher of late: 22.8% in 2012, 24.1% in 2011 and 2010, 25.2% in 2009, and 20.8% in 2008. In 2007, prior to the crisis, they were 19.7% and CBO calculates their 40-year average at 21% – all far higher than their 1948 level.

    It is quite clear that America’s economy has not only been “stimulated” by extraordinarily high government spending in the crisis and post-crisis period, but has become increasingly affected by high government spending over the longer-term too.

    At the same time government spending has increased as a share of the economy, private sector activity has necessarily declined in proportion. While this has been obviously true during the current post-crisis period, the longer-term effect, while more gradual, is equally clear.

    Yet in both cases, the economy has hardly responded in a commensurately positive manner. Despite enormous government intervention in the near-term, we are witnessing dramatically subpar growth. And while not as dramatic over the last four decades, when government spending has been greatly increasing, economic growth has been noticeably declining.

    Is it possible that a cause and effect relationship exists? While government can tax, and borrow, and spend, it is simply churning existing wealth without creating new. As George Gilder pointed out: “Wealth consists in assets that promise a future stream of income.” Government does not invest – despite terminology intended to justify government spending. It does not produce future income streams, as does private sector investment. So as private sector input makes up less of overall GDP, GDP growth becomes relatively less productive going forward.

    Nor is increased government intervention without its economic drag. If government is to have a greater role, it is going to have a greater say. Increased regulation, higher taxes, higher borrowing – all come along with government economic intervention.

    Since 2008, federal debt held by the public has more than doubled – from $5.8 trillion to an estimated $12.2 trillion in 2013. While it’s full negative impact is unfelt, because of historically low interest rates, once interest rates return to normal levels, this doubled debt will have a decidedly negative economic impact, as private sector investment is squeezed.

    Government was supposed to play a compensating role to the economic downturn in the post-crisis period. Yet after the worst four years of economic growth in decades, has not the time come when we can at least raise the question whether it has done so? To bolster that line of questioning, we need only look at America’s long-term economic growth to take the question a step further: Has government spending and its crowding out of private sector activity had a contributory effect in slower growth?

    Regardless how we are predisposed to answer these questions, there are inescapable facts in both the short- and long-term growth figures. Something is very different, and seemingly very wrong. This is clear in the current post-crisis period, but it really stretches back much further and could be far more serious than just a temporary economic slowdown.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have just posted 2 interesting articles about what has been happening to the economy and the American workforce in general; I hope you will not censor them this time.

    Very weak GDP growth during the recovery period, imo, is the real reason why we have been experiencing the following:

    1. A huge increase in the number of long-term unemployed and under-employed

    Please see - http://stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/long-term-unemployment/

    2. Stagnant wages

    3. Low labor participation rate

    You have often posted various statistics showing newly created jobs. But what you have completely failed to display are things like the type of jobs that have been created and the statistics of those belonging to 55 or less group who have been unemployed for more than 6 months or underemployed. Moreover, the lay-off statistics are lacking.

    Many of the jobs that have been created are actually low-paying-low-skilled jobs and temporary jobs. The wage growth has been anemic in the past 5 years and we have seen a huge increase in temp jobs and a sharp drop in high-paying jobs which were created during Reagan's, Clinton, and even Bush's administrations.

    Yes, the center-left CNN's figure of 7 million more jobs are needed by the economy is correct. These numbers are carefully calculated by experienced economists with PhDs.

    Below is a link showing how desperate recent grads are today when it comes to finding a job:

    http://www.wdrb.com/story/25751183/florida-graduates-holding-signs-on-the-street-to-get-jobs

    ReplyDelete

  6. The 25 to 54 age group has seen a decline in employment of 6 million workers....In 2013, 55 percent were participating in the labor force, compared to 62 percent in 2003, a decline of 7 percentage points.


    Plus MOST of the people who moved to the "not in the labor force" bucket (not working, not looking) were previously EMPLOYED, not previously UNEMPLOYED.. That means that they probably left the labor force voluntarily, to retire, to go to school, to stay home with kids or aging parents.

    How about 6 million workers in the core 25 to 54 age group were laid off? And when they try to find work, they always find many people applying for the same jobs which pay much less than what they use to make.

    I personally do not know of anyone in this age group who quit a good paying job to retire or stay home. Rather, I know many who immediately went to apply for the jobs after the positions became available but found themselves waiting in long lines instead.

    ReplyDelete
  7. *Who is dropping out, and why Article*
    The 25 to 54 age group has seen a decline in employment of 6 million workers....In 2013, 55 percent were participating in the labor force, compared to 62 percent in 2003, a decline of 7 percentage points.

    *Molly*
    Plus MOST of the people who moved to the "not in the labor force" bucket (not working, not looking) were previously EMPLOYED, not previously UNEMPLOYED.. That means that they probably left the labor force voluntarily, to retire, to go to school, to stay home with kids or aging parents.

    How about 6 million workers in the core 25 to 54 age group were laid off? And when they try to find work, they always find many people applying for the same jobs which pay much less than what they use to make.

    I personally do not know of anyone in this age group who quit a good paying job to retire or stay home. Rather, I know many who immediately went to apply for the jobs after the positions became available but found themselves waiting in long lines instead.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate intelligent comments and questions, including those that are at odds with anything posted here. I have elected not to screen comments before they are published; however, any comments that are in any way insulting, caustic, or intentionally inflammatory will be deleted without notice. Spam will also be immediately deleted.