Friday, August 3, 2012

Reagan-Obama Jobs Gap Still Growing

Today's jobs report reconfirms that the current economic recovery is far weaker than the recovery from the deep recession of 1981-82, the closest parallel to the recent "Great Recession" of 2008-2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added just 163,000 jobs in July. By contrast, in July, 1984, well into the Reagan recovery, the economy added nearly twice as many jobs --- 312,000 to be exact. (Go to this website and insert the appropriate month to confirm this figure.) Moreover, as previously explained on this blog, these figures actually understate the relative strength of the Reagan and Obama recoveries. After all, the current civilian workforce of 155,013,000 (the July, 2012 figure) is much larger than it was in 1984, when the figure stood at 113,500,000. (The exact figure for July, 1984, is currently not available on the BLS website.)   Thus, in order to replicate the rate of employment growth that occurred in July, 1984, the economy would have to create 426,000 jobs, instead of the 163,000 actually created in July.  As a result, the real gap between July, 1984 and July, 2012 employment growth is 263,000  jobs, bringing the actual gap between the last four months of the Reagan recovery and the last four months of the Obama recovery to nearly 1.5 million jobs.  (As explained in this post, the real gap between the second quarter of the 1984 Reagan recovery and the second quarter of the 2012 Obama recovery was 1,205, 415 jobs.)

The American people deserve a stronger recovery.