Saturday, February 04, 2012

More on the responsibility for our unemployment

The other day I posted on the responsibility for unemployment in the United States. Check out this figure from Rachel Maddow's blog "showing the change in private-sector job totals by month since the start of the Great Recession, with red columns showing the months when George W. Bush was president and the blue columns showing the Obama era":

And this "chart showing private-sector job totals by year over the last two decades":

Note that these graphs show private sector jobs, leaving out public sector jobs. The public sector employment in the state and local governments have been contracting as those governments are hit by the drop in property taxes, the Great Recession drop in payroll taxes, and their frequent requirements to balance budgets.

It is also the case that employment is a following indicator, and economic production (GDP) will normally increase a few months before the improvement shows up in employment.

In fairness, the Bush administration put a stimulus package in place (with the approval of the Congress) in 2008.

Still, the graphs seem pretty clearly to show that the Obama administration has had a very good record of improving the employment situation, as did the Clinton Democratic administration in the 1990s.

While I agree that the government needs to cut deficit spending over the next decade, and we need to bring down the ratio of government debt to GDP, I do fear that the Republican Congress has moved too reduce the federal stimulus inputs too soon. 

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