By David K. Sutton
The GOP talking point that ’Obama is a job killer” is debunked in just one chart. President Obama took office in January 2009 when the ‘great recession’ was at it’s deepest. Up to that point millions of jobs had already been lost to the recession and in that month alone over 800,000 jobs were lost. In the following months many millions of additional jobs were lost. Certainly there is a point where we begin to direct blame for the economy towards Obama and away from Bush but it’s foolish at best to blame Obama for the millions of jobs lost within the first few months of his presidency when millions of jobs had already been shed leading up to the oath of office.
The 2009 stimulus bill was signed into law in February of that year and you can see in the chart that job losses begin to recede quite rapidly in the following months until finally positive job growth begins a year later in March 2010. It could be argued that positive job growth really didn’t take shape until October of 2010 because much of the job growth (and then losses) from March 2010 to September 2010 was due to the temporary hiring related to the 2010 census.
Each month from October 2010 until November 2011 (and now December 2011) has seen job growth. Out of the 35 full months (including December 2011 – not shown in the chart above) Obama has been in office, 18 months (again, including December 2011 – 200,000 jobs created) have seen job growth. More important is the trend. There is no reason to believe we won’t see continued job growth through all of 2012 which will only improve Obama’s creation-to-loss ratio.
It is true that there is still a net jobs loss during Obama’s first 35 months and that the unemployment rate is still higher now compared to when he took office but as you can see from the chart that is mostly due to the first year of his presidency which could hardly be blamed on his economic policies. The naysayers apparently would like us to believe the economy should create a few million jobs in just a month or two and if it doesn’t than Obama has failed. It doesn’t work that way. If you dig a deep hole it’s going to take a while to crawl out of it.
One thing the naysayers can’t ignore is that the longer we go into Obama’s presidency the better the jobs picture looks, which serves to reinforce that his policies have had a positive effect on the economy and jobs. It also serves to further debunk the Republican talking points of the ‘stimulus failed’ and ‘Obama is a job killer’.