Growth In Jobs | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 26 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: June 25, 2012

Growth In Jobs

Department: Letters

As the talking heads keep telling us, the upcoming presidential election will hinge largely on the economy and, especially, on job creation. They are probably right.

An analysis of the job-creating performance of the 15 Administrations between 1945 and 2008 indicates that the Democrats enjoyed a sustained and substantial advantage over those 60 years.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a total of 46.4 million private-economy jobs were added during the six Administrations that were Democratic, for an average of 7.5 million per four-year term. The nine Republican terms brought a combined gain of 25.6 million, for an average of 2.8 million.

When Administrations are ranked by absolute or percentage of private job gains, Democrats take six of the top seven spots. Job creation has varied wildly. The two Clinton terms brought an almost 21 million gain. The one strong Republican term, Reagan’s second, added 3.3 million. The three Bush terms combined added just 1 million.

Any effort to prognosticate on the economy and jobs is complicated by the staggering and unprecedented 8.9 million decline in private jobs that started in January 2008. Previous such periodic job declines since 1948 had averaged 2 million.

Of the 8.9 million decline, 4.7 million came in the last year of the second Bush term. Another 3.2 million came during the first four months of the Obama Administration. A further million jobs were lost before the decline bottomed out in February 2010. Since then more than 4 million jobs have been added.

All these data guarantee nothing about what impact the next Administration will have on the job market. But the historical record indicates that if it turns out to be Democratic, solid job growth would be the norm. If it is Republican, solid job growth would be the exception.

By Michael Heylin
C&EN Editor, 1977–95
Falls Church, Va

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society
Chad  (June 25, 2012 8:20 PM)
GDP growth and stock market performance follow the same pattern - better under Democratic presidents, better under Democratic congresses.

Facts matter, and the fact is that there is precious little evidence that Republican policies will lead to meaningful or sustainable growth. At best, their ideas either amount to short-term looting of our natural resources, or attempting to poach a few jobs from somewhere else by gutting safety, environmental, and labor standards while engaging in endless rounds of tax cuts and plain old subsidies. The former is unsustainable and a very naked attempt to steal from future generations, and the latter is a race to the bottom which cannot be won. Both should be rejected without the slightest consideration.

Tammy TaxPayer  (July 12, 2012 11:39 PM)
Facts do matter and history records will also show that most jobs created when the house, senate and oval office are under the control of the democrats are government jobs which cost the taxpayers money in the form of higher taxes to pay for those jobs, with the exception of Bill Clinton who moved more to the middle when the republicans took control and also created the Welfare to Work program (gee -- whatever did happen to that program?). Most jobs created under a republican controlled house and senate are in the private sector.

The problem with both parties is that they are both more interested in money, power and control as opposed to what is best for the American people.

Now if the average voter were smart enough, they would figure out a way to get a term-limits option added to the ballot for ALL elected and appointed positions because you know that the existing members of congress and the senate would never give up all of the hidden benefits that they enjoy at the expense of the taxpayer.
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