Today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the American economy added 114,000 jobs in September. BLS also revised the job gains for July and August up by a total of 86,000, and the report contained several other good signs for the economy. The private sector has now added jobs for 31 consecutive months, and there are more than 600,000 more total jobs than there were when Obama took office, even though the public sector continues to lag behind.
At the same point in his administration, President George W. Bush’s record wasn’t as positive. Through 44 months, the private sector had lost more than 1 percent of its jobs (under Obama, it has gained 0.46 percent), and the only reason Bush could claim positive overall growth was because the public sector had grown by almost 4 percent.
Both presidents experienced recessions early in their terms, but as this chart from Nick Bunker and Michael Linden from the Center for American Progress shows, the labor market has recovered faster under Obama even though the Great Recession was deeper and more painful than the 2001 recession:
Under Obama, the public sector has shrunk by more than 600,000 jobs, increasing only while the government conducted the 2010 Census. Without those losses, the unemployment rate would be near 7 percent. The unemployment rate would be lower still had Republicans not blocked the American Jobs Act, which economists estimated would have added more than one million jobs to the economy.