Obama Beats Reagan On Private Job Growth, Ctd

Readers push back on this post:

I think you are reading your chart wrong. Reagan is the yellow line, Obama the royal blue. The yellow line is above the royal blue at all times. Even if you adjust both so that both lines start at zero, the yellow line is still above. Even Bill McBride’s table from the article you cited bears that out. Reagan’s total over two terms was 14,717,000, while Obama’s current total is 6,127,000; even using the projected, he comes up short (11,908,000).

Another looks closer:

You tortured the data quite a bit!

After 10 minutes of poking around the linked article, I finally figured out that what you mean is that job growth in Obama‘s second term – extrapolated out to a full four year term! – is sliiiightly higher than job growth in Reagan’s second term.

So what about the first term, does that not matter?  Certainly in the world of “my guy” vs “your guy”, Democrats vs Republicans, you don’t have much to stand on.  And of course historical periods are not so simply compared, as though one eight-year period has the same economic circumstances as another – or, in this case, another six year period – oops!  Actually, what you are really doing is comparing a four-year term to a two-year term.  OOPS!

This comparison is pretty sloppy.  And one must note that blame falls solely upon you, as Bill McBride does not reach the same charged conclusion that you do. All he says is “Currently Obama‘s 2nd term is on pace for the third best term for these Presidents.”

I’ll take the hit. We’ll make sure this post is linked to in the first one. There was a lot going on yesterday and I screwed up. Another piles on:

This graph uses raw job numbers.  The population of the US and the total workforce are significantly larger now than under Reagan.  As a percentage of the workforce, job creation under Obama would be significantly less than under Reagan.  Frankly I don’t know why Bill McBride even used raw job numbers for his graph; it’s misleading and lazy.

Also, the graph treats all jobs as being created equal.  Two 5-hour-a-week jobs at minimum wage look superior on this kind of graph to one full time job at minimum wage let alone a full time job above minimum wage, but in terms of money to working families they are not.  That sort of data is needed to make a real assessment of the jobs “added” under the various presidents.