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Friday, December 4, 2015

How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (November 2015 update)

How many NET jobs created or lost under Obama* as of November 2015? How many private sector jobs have been lost or added during Obama's presidency?

This report has been updated for 
November 2016 HERE!

The numbers below are outdated.  Please click on the link above for current numbers.

How many new jobs in the last 7 years since Obama was inaugurated?  How many Americans were working or employed when Obama took office... compared to now?

Private sector job growth has been stable and consistent since early 2010 with 69 months of consecutive private sector job growth.


Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:

  • 13,251,000 MORE payroll jobs in total
  • 13,742,000 MORE private sector jobs
  • 11,351,000 MORE people working (includes self-employed and agricultural workers)
How many workers were full-time or part-time at the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 compared to now?
  • 11,468,000 MORE people working full-time.
  • 159,000 FEWER people working part-time.  
  • (Yes, despite what you may have heard, from the depth of the recession until now, we have many MORE people working full-time vs. 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 begins to increase.)
  • 3,160,000 FEWER people are working part-time involuntarily than in September 2010 when this number peaked.  This is a biggie, as this means that most of the people who are working part-time WANT to work part-time.  In fact, we have about 3.4 million more people working part-time who WANT to work part-time than in the depth of the recession. Also, about 40% of people 65 and over who are working are working part-time.  

Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
  • 8,923,000 MORE jobs in total
  • 9,517,000 MORE private sector jobs
  • 7,212,000 MORE people working

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

  • 6,209,000 MORE people working full-time
  • 943,000 MORE people working part-time
  • 1,960,000 FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY (because they couldn't find a full-time job.)  About 2,903,000 more people are working part-time voluntarily..  because they WANT to work part-time... since Obama was inaugurated. 

Have any private jobs been lost (net) over the past 69 months since February 2010?


  • 69 months of consecutive private-sector job growth.
  • The longest consecutive period of private-sector job increases since this number has been recorded. 
  • ALL jobs losses since the recession (January 2008 was the prior peak of jobs) have been made up, added back, or recovered.

Have any jobs been lost (net) over the past 62 months since September 2010?

  • 62 months of consecutive overall job growth.
  • This is the longest period of consecutive overall job growth since this number has been recorded (back to 1939).
Are more people unemployed now than when Obama took office in January 2009?  
  • Despite 3,091,000 MORE people in the labor force (either working or actively looking for work) now vs. January 2009, there are 4,121,000 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 61 months in this country, we have had MORE jobs being added than we have had jobs being cut.  For 69 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 7 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.  The numbers above reflect job gains after all job losses have been subtracted. 
For the past 69 months (as of November 2015), 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.  This is the longest consecutive period of job growth since these numbers have been recorded.

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

The above jobs numbers are from the BLS jobs report of November 2015, which was released in early December 2015.  The surveys used to gather these numbers are taken as of the week which includes the 12th day of the month, in this case, November 12, 2015. 


  1. Hello Molly, I came across your blog postings while researching for my blog America’s New Working Poor: Its former Middle Class ( I do public policy research and analysis for several clients and post much of my findings. In regards to people wanting to work part-time, misses the fact that most of the low-income families and individual who my clients work with are working part time, often 2 or more jobs. This is due to employers not creating full time positions to avoid providing health and medical benefits, paid time off and over time. If they require full time employees, employers will mis-classify them as contractors, again avoiding paying benefits.

    I am pleased to find someone who follows BLS announcements and trends. Keep up the good work.

  2. More bull puckey from the so-called experts. Ask your neighbors if they are employed and if it is part time, full time or two or more jobs. America ships jobs overseas, they do not employ Americans

    1. Not sure where you live, Anonymous, but the reality is that everybody that I know here, in the Chicago area, (and that includes people who are well-off, middle class/working class people) ARE working, and many of them could not find jobs 5-6 years ago. All of the young people I know who, as recent college grads, were struggling to find work back in 2009-2012, have found work, and almost all are in professional positions. I'm sorry that you are stuck in some area in which people can't find jobs. I do hope you return and tell us where you live. Is it possible for you and your neighbors who are struggling to move to areas in which job prospects are better?

    2. You do understand that Census workers go out and TALK to people about whether or not they are working, if they want work, if they are working full- or part- time; if they are working one job or multiple jobs? Nobody just makes this stuff up. If you believe that someone is lying to you, there's not much that I or anyone can say about that. I'm sorry that your situation is so difficult.


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.