The last couple weeks has been filled with fêtes for the presidential nominees, and the common denominator in each convention has been “Who’s going to create jobs?”
Bill Clinton gave a very passionate speech which referenced the fact that, since 1961, Democratic Presidents created 42 million jobs, while Republicans created 24 million. A Politifact article broke down the job creation stats by president, with the emphasis that these are private sector jobs. This is important for several reasons, the most important of which is that while each party differs in their attitudes towards the size of government (i.e. public sector jobs), they both want to increase the number of jobs in the private sector.
So, I decided to break down the track record of each party and compare it to the amount of jobs each created as president, or with a majority in the Senate, or a majority in the House.
These are complicated datasets, and open to all sorts of interpretations. But it seems that the only reliable trend over the last 30 years is that Republicans start job growth, then begin a spiral of decline, which Democrats come in and fix the job losses so that Republicans can continue the cycle.
This can be even more apparent if you look at the above graph which calculates percent jobs created per year. When Republicans are in power of any branch of government, they have generally less job growth than when Democrats are in power. The notable exception is when Democrats controlled both branches and both houses from 2009-2011. If you exclude this 2-year period (1st D/D), this looks really good for Democrats. If you include it (2nd D/D, far right), it still looks good, but with larger error. But either way, there doesn’t appear to be a statistical difference from one column to the next.
So, there appears to be a weak trend that Democrats make more private sector jobs than Republicans. However, this doesn’t take into account that the growth of government under Democrats will also create public sector jobs, which Republicans are eager to cut. So, I guess in a period where everyone needs jobs (public or private), we probably should vote Democrat.