Article

Private-Sector Jobs Bounce Back Under Obama

But Public-Sector Hemorrhaging Dampens the Picture

Michael Linden shows that under President Obama private-sector jobs have recovered but the public sector’s job losses are preventing a strong labor market.

Chris Keltz polishes a tank at JV Northwest in Canby, Oregon. Since bottoming out in early 2010, the country has added back 4.2  million private-sector jobs, and is now into positive territory for President  Obama’s term. (AP/ Rick Bowmer)
Chris Keltz polishes a tank at JV Northwest in Canby, Oregon. Since bottoming out in early 2010, the country has added back 4.2 million private-sector jobs, and is now into positive territory for President Obama’s term. (AP/ Rick Bowmer)

In the first year of President Barack Obama’s term, the country lost about 4.2 million private-sector jobs. But as of last month there are now more private-sector jobs in the United States than there were in January 2009, when President Obama took office. You read that right. Since bottoming out in early 2010, the country has added back 4.2 million private-sector jobs, and is now into positive territory for President Obama’s term.

Unfortunately, the news is not nearly so good when it comes to the public sector, where there are currently 607,000 fewer people working than there were when President Obama took office.

The chart below tells the whole story. Under President Obama, the private sector experienced a relatively robust recovery, and is now back to where it started when he took office. But due in large part to spending cuts at the state and local level, the public sector continues to shed jobs, and as a result, the overall jobs picture in the United States remains weak.

Keep this chart in mind the next time you hear someone rail about “big government” and complain about the slow pace of overall job creation.

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Authors

Michael Linden

Managing Director, Economic Policy

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