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Mining the Numbers: BLS Data Shows Obama Has Destroyed 500,000 Jobs, Bush Created 9,000,000??

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During his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012, President Barack Obamaoffered up reasons why voters should give him a second term of office, arguing that

…In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs…

Many on the left (like Balloon Juice) are trotting out this statistic as evidence thatPresident Obama’s policies are successful at creating jobs and putting Americans back to work. Although the jobs are being created by businesses, and it could be argued that these jobs would have been created regardless of who was in office, liberals and Democrats and progressives argue that President Obama deserves credit for 3 million jobs created by him while he was President and that we should all vote for him again in 2012.

And to be fair, if President Obama’s policies have been successful in creating millions of jobs for workers, then we should give him credit and a second term of office-President Clinton, who was a Democrat, deserved another term of office in 1996 on the strength of a booming economy. But also to be fair, if President Obama’s policies have not been successful in creating millions if jobs for workers, let’s hold him accountable and throw him out of office, because it is important to be fair.

So let’s take a look at some numbers, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which are pretty unbiased (although I will point out that any likely bias to be introduced by this government agency would favor Obama). These numbers are generated here, and are not seasonally adjusted. All numbers are in the thousands.

For comparison, let’s first look at President Bush, the Republican in office who preceded Obama. According to the BLS, when President Bush took office in January in 2001 the number of people age 16 or older employed in our nation was 136181K. Over the next year, that number dropped to 134177 (Jan 02). By January of 2007 the number climbed to 144275K. Democrats took over control of the House and Senate at this time. The number of employed though continued to climb, hitting 146867K in July of 2008. It is at this point that the ‘crash’ occurred, and on leaving office the number of people employed had dropped to 145362.

A couple ways to look at this data. Overall, 9181K (over 9 million) jobs were created during Bush’s time as President. If you want to say that ‘the first year doesn’t count’, then Bush created 11185K jobs. If you want to say that ‘the first year doesn’t count and the first year of the next guy’s Presidency does’- in other words, count as ‘Bush’ the years from Jan 02 to Dec 10, then Bush created 2392K jobs. If you want to simply count by ‘first three years’, Bush created 1555K jobs.

Now let’s look at President Obama. According to the BLS, when President Obamatook office in January of 2009 the number of people age 16 or older employed in our nation was 140436K. Over the next year, that number dropped to 136809K (Jan 10).Buy January of 2011, the number climbed to 137599. Republicans took back control of the House at this time, although the Senate was still controlled by Democrats. The number employed continued to climb, hitting 139869 today.

A couple ways to look at this data. Overall, 567K (half a million) jobs have been lost during Obama’s time as President. If you want to say that ‘the first year doesn’t count,’ then Obama created 3060K jobs (or, ‘over 3 million’ as he bragged about in his speech). If you want to simply count by ‘first three years’, Obama lost 567K jobs.

So, let’s go back to the earlier point that Obama was trying to make- that his policies helped us to recover from a recession and created 3 million jobs, and so he should be re-elected. In comparison to the Republican who was in office before him- a Republican who Democrats said was ‘dumb’ and who made ‘lots of mistakes’- Obama fares considerably worse by any measure. In overall comparison, Bush created almost 10 million more jobs; in ‘first year doesn’t count’, Bush created almost 8 million more jobs; and in ‘first three years’ comparison, Bush created almost 2 million more jobs. By any comparison, the ‘bumbling idiot’ who was in office prior to Obama did a considerably better job at being around when jobs were created by businesses.

The argument against why Obama should be elected to a second term is not ‘things got worse under Obama’, because that’s going to turn out to be not true (I imagine employment will grow enough over his last year to give him a positive balance overall). The argument against why Obama should not be elected to a second term is that his policies made the road to recovery longer, tougher, and worse and that his job-killing policies, supported by a Democratic Congress, led to the loss of jobs in America versus what we could have expected from anyone else.

If the Republicans nominate a candidate comparable to Bush, whom Democrats constantly attacked as unqualified and dumb, than we can expect millions more jobs than what Obama has demonstrated that he can create; if the Republicans nominate a candidate better than Bush (someone smarter, with more business savvy, leadership skills, experience saving bankrupt enterprises, experience balancing budgets, etc) than we can hope for more jobs created than under Bush. Either way, Obama should not be re-elected.

And keep in mind I ignored for our purposes here the increase in population in our nation that has occurred (see my earlier discussion breaking down the Employment-Population Ratio, which measures number of people employed as a percentage of the population- under Bush that rate averaged around 62%, and under Obama it has hovered around 58%, even over the past 22 months of job growth that Obama is bragging about the ratio has only gone up 0.6%). Population growth should naturally lead to more jobs being created- it did under Bush, but yet it hasn’t under Obama.

And also keep in mind the debt that our nation has taken on to achieve these results. Bush created 9 million jobs and added 4 trillion in debt- Obama lost 500 million jobs and added 5 trillion in debt. This means that my children and grandchildren gave up a lot of their future for nothing under Obama.

Personal insults, soaring rhetoric, and misleading claims don’t stand up the force of data, information, facts, and reasoning. President Obama needs to be gone.

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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