Republicans have made a show of their supposed job creation efforts over the past three years, decrying “job killing” regulations and taxes on “job creators.” They have a web site — 4jobs.gov — devoted to their job creation agenda and have even named legislation the JOBS Act. They have also slammed President Obama, saying that he fails to understand the type of environment the private sector needs to spark job growth.
Despite the GOP’s big talk, historical data shows that private sector job creation is better when a Democrat occupies the White House. Since President John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, in fact, nearly two-thirds of the 66 million private sector jobs added to the economy have come under Democratic presidents, Bloomberg reports:
The BGOV Barometer shows that since Democrat John F. Kennedy took office in January 1961, non-government payrolls in the U.S. swelled by almost 42 million jobs under Democrats, compared with 24 million for Republican presidents, according to Labor Department figures.
Democrats hold the edge though they occupied the Oval Office for 23 years since Kennedy’s inauguration, compared with 28 for the Republicans. Through April, Democratic presidents accounted for an average of 150,000 additional private-sector paychecks per month over that period, more than double the 71,000 average for Republicans.
After the economy added more than 20 million jobs under President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, it fared much worse under his successor, Republican George W. Bush, who added just 1 million jobs in eight years. Bush had the “worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The private sector continued to shed jobs in the opening months of the Obama presidency, but as of April, those jobs have all returned.
Republicans, for all of their hatred of government, actually have a slightly better record than Democrats when it comes to creating public sector jobs. Under Obama, local, state, and federal governments have shed more than 600,000 jobs, making the Great Recession the first in modern history in which the public sector lost jobs. Had those jobs been maintained, the unemployment rate would be 7.1 percent, a full point lower than it is now.