Job seekers. Photographer: Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg
The U.S. Department of Labor released the January jobs report that showed better than expected growth of 225,000 new jobs vs. the consensus of 158,000. However, there were detailed updates with a major revision to 2018’s employment numbers, which substantially decreased job growth under President Trump.
Far from being the “Best economy ever”
Trump continually says that, “the U.S. is experiencing the best economy ever.” This is obvious gaslighting since the new results show that President Trump’s best year of job growth was 2.314 million in 2018 (the first year of the tax cut) but it falls short of any of Obama’s last three years. His boasts also don’t stand up when you peel the onion on GDP growth and realize that the Federal deficits during his Presidency will exceed any that were not impacted by a recession.
U.S President Donald Trump. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP
The previous and updated job growth yearly totals for Obama’s last six years in office after the Great Recession and Trump’s first three years, along with the revisions, are:
- 2011: 2.075 million fell to 2.074 million, down 1,000 jobs
- 2012: 2.174 million fell to 2.176 million, up 2,000 jobs
- 2013: 2.302 million fell to 2.301 million, down 1,000 jobs
- 2014: 3.006 million fell to 3.004 million, down 2,000 jobs
- 2015: 2.729 million fell to 2.72 million, down 9,000 jobs
- 2016: 2.318 million increased to 2.345 million, up 27,000 jobs
- 2017: 2.153 million fell to 2.109 million, down 44,000 jobs
- 2018: 2.679 million fell to 2.314 million, down 365,000 jobs (Trump’s best year)
- 2019: 2.115 million fell to 2.096 million, down 19,000 jobs
While not exceeding Obama’s last three years, Trump’s 2.314 million in 2018 barely beat Obama’s 2.301 in 2014.
US President Barack Obama. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images
Obama created 1.5 million more jobs than Trump over a three-year period
It is harder for companies to find workers and it is later in the business cycle. However, Trump’s boasts about how many jobs he has added don’t include that he has generated 6.5 million jobs under his Presidency vs. the 8.1 million, or 1.5 million more that Obama did under the same timeframe. On average Obama created 43,000 more jobs per month than Trump.
Job growth is a continuation from Obama’s Presidency
The graph below shows the number of employees in the private sector of the economy, meaning it excludes government workers and farmers. It shows that there has been 10 years of increased employment, seven under Obama and three under Trump. It turns out that in 2019 there were 1.927 million private sector jobs added, the fewest since 2010 as the economy was recovering from the Great Recession.
U.S. private sector employment
Graph courtesy of Joel D. Shore, based on employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Why use Obama’s last 3 years in office vs. his first 3 years
There were some questions raised why I used Obama’s last 29 months in office vs. his first 29 months when I published a previous article that calculated Trump had generated almost 1 million fewer jobs than Obama. The reason was (and is why I’m using Obama’s last 3 years in this article) is that Obama started his Presidency during the Great Recession. He had no control over the hundreds of thousands of jobs being cut per month just after he took the oath of office. To compare Trump’s to Obama’s record it makes sense to use comparable economic circumstances.