Tag Archives: Calculated Risk Blog

Public Sector Job Growth

One of the things that conservatives have said was that Obama was growing the government by hiring tons of public sector workers. This was not true and easily proven to be false. The following is from Calculated Risk Blog, who put together the numbers and the graphs. (There is no website that I know of that does a better job at giving us an overall picture of the economy.)

A big difference between the presidencies has been public sector employment.  Note the bumps in public sector employment due to the decennial Census in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

 

The public sector grew during Mr. Carter’s term (up 1,304,000), during Mr. Reagan’s terms (up 1,414,000), during Mr. G.H.W. Bush’s term (up 1,127,000), during Mr. Clinton’s terms (up 1,934,000), and during Mr. G.W. Bush’s terms (up 1,744,000 jobs).

However the public sector has declined significantly since Mr. Obama took office (down 638,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but more recently at the Federal level.  This has been a significant drag on overall employment.

And a table for public sector jobs. Public sector jobs declined the most during Obama’s first term, and increased the most during Reagan’s 2nd term.

 

Term Public Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 1,304
Reagan 1 -24
Reagan 2 1,438
GHW Bush 1,127
Clinton 1 692
Clinton 2 1,242
GW Bush 1 900
GW Bush 2 844
Obama 1 -702
Obama 2 641
128 months into 2nd term, 110 pace

Looking forward, I expect the economy to continue to expand through 2016 (at least), so I don’t expect a sharp decline in private employment as happened at the end of Mr. Bush’s 2nd term (In 2005 and 2006 I was warning of a coming recession due to the bursting of the housing bubble).

For the public sector, the cutbacks are clearly over at the state and local levels, and it appears cutbacks at the Federal level might also be over.  Right now I’m expecting some increase in public employment during Obama’s 2nd term, but nothing like what happened during Reagan’s second term.

Here is a table of the top three presidential terms for private job creation (they also happen to be the three best terms for total non-farm job creation).

Clinton’s two terms were the best for both private and total non-farm job creation, followed by Reagan’s 2nd term.

Currently Obama’s 2nd term is on pace to be the 2nd best ever for private job creation.  However, with very few public sector jobs added, Obama’s 2nd term is only on pace to be the third best for total job creation.

Note: Only 64 thousand public sector jobs have been added during the first twenty eight months of Obama’s 2nd term (following a record loss of 702 thousand public sector jobs during Obama’s 1st term).  This is less than 8% of the public sector jobs added during Reagan’s 2nd term!

 

Top Employment Gains per Presidential Terms (000s)
Rank Term Private Public Total Non-Farm
1 Clinton 1 10,885 692 11,577
2 Clinton 2 10,070 1,242 11,312
3 Reagan 2 9,357 1,438 10,795
Obama 21 6,322 64 6,386
Pace2 10,838 110 10,948
128 Months into 2nd Term
2Current Pace for Obama’s 2nd Term

The second table shows the jobs need per month for Obama’s 2nd term to be in the top three presidential terms.

 

Average Jobs needed per month (000s)
for Obama’s 2nd Term
to Rank Private Total
#1 228 260
#2 187 246
#3 152 220

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/06/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#j5XVy8W01MpQe7Td.99