Democrats are better at job creation.

In Bill Clinton’s speech last night, he said that “Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24.  So what’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 (million).”  Since the Republicans are droning what a failure Obama and the Democrats have been at creating jobs, this struck me as a back-breaker for the Republicans if it were true.

Turns out, Bill nailed that one as well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the net increases in private-sector employment under each president, chronologically by party:


Richard Nixon: Increase of 7.1 million jobs
Gerald Ford: Increase of 1.3 million jobs
Ronald Reagan: Increase of 14.7 million jobs
George H.W. Bush: Increase of 1.5 million jobs
George W. Bush: Decline of 646,000 jobs

Total: Increase of 23.9 million jobs under Republican presidents


John F. Kennedy: Increase of 2.7 million jobs
Lyndon B. Johnson: Increase of 9.5 million jobs
Jimmy Carter: Increase of 9.0 million jobs
Bill Clinton: Increase of 20.8 million jobs
Barack Obama: Increase of 332,000 jobs

Given the success of the Republican party’s policies toward creating jobs in the past, it’s highly likely that Obama’s number would be even higher if not for the Republicans purging “cooperation” from their vocabulary during Obama’s presidency.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • otocump

    The ‘totals for Democrats’ is missing, but even with a quick glance at the numbers its clear they’ve got a pretty big lead.

  • Rory

    If we lived in a sane world, that would be a back breaker. If you’ve been watching the conventions, of course, you know that this is not a sane world.

    • John Horstman

      Yes, sadly this presupposes that enough people care about reality more than ideology, which is demonstrably not the case.

  • Steven Dorst

    JT: Love the picture at the end! I don’t see any copyright assertion, but I still like to have permission to do things. May I include the picture in a blog post of my own, with link to this post?

  • Prophet of doom

    It is US’s prerogative to continue with a high jobless rate and stagnation. Good chance for foreigners to buy up US on the cheap.

  • Daniel Schealler

    Was the starting point of ‘Since 1961′ arbitrary?

    Also: Is it appropriate to measure total numbers of jobs? Would it be more appropriate to measure some form of ratio of employment – for example, ‘employment was raised by ((Y-X)/X)% (i.e. from X jobs to Y jobs, assuming X != 0) and take the median value?

    I don’t mean to sound critical. I would like Clinton’s position to be true and justified, and I lean strongly towards the belief that it very probably is.

    But I also want to be consistent: Taking convenient starting points for trending data and measuring absolute numbers without adjusting for time-relevance is something I’m quick to call out in climate change deniers. The same level of skepticism should apply here as well.