Final tally: President Obama created 11.3 million jobs

NEW YORK  — The final tally is in: 11.3 million new jobs were created under President Obama.

The president is claiming a big victory on getting Americans back to work again.

“Businesses that were bleeding jobs unleashed the longest streak of job creation on record,” Obama wrote in a letter to the American people this week.

He’s right: The economy has added jobs for 75 straight months, although his overall jobs gains aren’t as strong as some prior presidents.

The U.S. added 15.9 million jobs under President Ronald Reagan and a whopping 22.9 million under President Bill Clinton if you look at how many Americans were employed in the last full month they were in office versus the January when they were sworn in.

Obama did outpace President George W. Bush though. Bush is in the back of the pack among recent presidents who served two terms. Only 2.1 million jobs were added during Bush’s full tenure.

The Labor Department will publish the December jobs report on Friday, January 6, 2017. It's the final jobs report to come while President Obama is still in office.

The Labor Department will publish the December jobs report on Friday, January 6, 2017. It’s the final jobs report to come while President Obama is still in office.

Could Obama have done better? His supporters point out that he faced a severe challenge that other presidents did not.

“There’s a dramatic difference between what Barack Obama was handed and what Donald Trump will be stepping into,” says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.

He took office in January 2009 — in the depths of the Great Recession — when the U.S. was bleeding nearly 800,000 jobs a month. It was the worst economic hole America had seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Obama himself called it a “moment of peril unlike any we’d seen in decades.”

Congress and President Obama acted swiftly with a stimulus package that spent big money on roads and other projects and also gave people tax cuts. The goal was to get people back to work.

The Labor Department will publish the December jobs report on Friday, January 6, 2017. It's the final jobs report to come while President Obama is still in office.

The Labor Department will publish the December jobs report on Friday, January 6, 2017. It’s the final jobs report to come while President Obama is still in office.

It took awhile to kick in, but businesses finally started adding jobs by the end of 2010. Since then, the gains have accelerated: 2014 and 2015 turned out to be the best years for jobs gains since the late 1990s.

The unemployment rate peaked at 10% and is now back down to 4.7% — a level many consider normal for a healthy economy.

“The economy is at full employment. This is it,” says Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “The pool is all but drained especially for skilled workers.”

There is an ongoing debate about how “good” the jobs added were. Almost all of the employment gains under Obama were so-called service jobs. Some of those are high-paying like nursing and tech, but others are low-wage, like retail and restaurant jobs. One economist found that 47% of the jobs created under Obama are in the “high-wage” category.

One of Obama’s regrets is that he wasn’t able to do more to reduce inequality in America.

“We have to acknowledge the inequality that has come from an increasingly globalized economy while committing ourselves to making it work better for everyone, not just those at the top,” he said in his letter.

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13 comments

  • Al P

    What a joke!!! How about reporting the labor participation rate and tell us how many millions of less people are actually working since Eight years ago. Quit with the fake news already. Sorry Fox news, you are only fooling the LIBERALS.

  • CYNIC

    Wow, just when you think they can’t get any less honest and accurate. How can we be at “full employment” when we have a recorded low of people even working? Talk about delusional.

  • kat

    We can’t bring the factories back because there is no one to run them???? You have got to be kidding me, you truly think the American people are that stupid, that you can get away with a statement like that? I venture to say there are plenty of educated people out there, working for meager corporate salaries while attempting to pay down 100,000 loans from banks like yours, that would love to run those factories for you pal.

    • kat

      I was actually referring to the Chief economists statement: “The pool is all but drained especially for skilled workers. We can’t bring factory jobs back because there’s no one out there to run them,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist. As if we are fools, smh

      • 2017willbebetter

        The pool is kind of drained on skilled workers Kat. For years a college education was touted. There are liberal/left postings on a certain Madison News Channel that make fun of Gov. Walkers wanting shop classed brought back. I work in a factory and a large # of welders, Tool & Die, Punch and Brake, robot welders, CNC, etc will be retiring and the applicants are all Liberal Arts, English, Math, you name it majors, but they don’t even know what a welder looks like. They don’t want to get dirty. They do not like how loud it is, standing, kind of marshmellowy young out there today. I’m hoping that more states will encourage “shop class” and gets the youth excited about tech schools which now offer CNC, punch and brake press training (which you used to only be able to get on the job as an apprentice).Perhaps a Machine Shop training to get people off of welfare. Shop jobs pay quite well, are almost always full time with more then 50 employees (so you can get health insurance cheaper). Then USA needs to back off on Corp. taxes and some of the too tight regulations so they can afford to hire and pay USA workers instead of going overseas or south of the USA border.

  • kat

    Another excuse to raise the interest rates, because as Janet Yellen says: Get a college degree. “You are entering the strongest job market in nearly a decade,” In other words, go get a loan so you will be indebted to us for life and you certainly won’t be purchasing a home after we raise those interest rates, but no worries the investors will buy it all up for you and allow you rent for 50% of your meager salary. Then they tell those working in fast food, that it’s their own fault for not going to college, when at the end of the day, everyone has the same chump change in their pockets. These parasites are sucking a billion dollars a day out of our economy in frivolous “fees” alone. Oh wait, it’s only a dollar… right guys?

  • Libsareliars

    Once again what this article fails to point out is how many of those 11.3 millions jobs are permanent part time jobs for people who want to work full time. These part time jobs also pay less than full time employment. So CNN can put away the bells and whistles and get back to reality that this was an inept recovery.

  • #whitelivesmattermorebecausetheypayforstuff

    Even if that number is true, he also created $10 trillion in debt. That works out to $884,000 per job created. I don’t think all the McDonald’s jobs he created are paying that kind of salary, unless they are senior VP’s.