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  • In Pictures: The Obama and Pelosi Job Gaps

    There are a lot of ways to measure job growth in America, some more accurate than others. Organizing for America (the political arm of the Democratic National Committee) created a chart to “celebrate” the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Failed Stimulus. Their chart attempted to cover up the fact that President Obama’s stimulus was a giant failure and came up 9 million jobs short of the number of jobs he promised to create by 2010.

    Well, Matthias Shapiro of 10000Pennies video fame created his own jobs graph showing just how great Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) economic stewardship has been for the American people. It shows how jobs have plummetted under her leadership:

    There are a couple of things we at Heritage would have done differently if we had created the above graphic (for example, Matthias uses the Labor Department’s Table A-1 seasonally adjusted total employed number for his benchmark, while Heritage uses the Table B-1 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm payroll number for our benchmark), but it still does a great job countering the Organizing for America graph below:

    When holding the Obama administration accountable for their $862 billion stimulus, the key is to remember what the White House promised to deliver when they were selling the plan to the American people, and then compare that to what the objective results have been.

    When the Obama administration first unveiled their stimulus plan in November 2008, they claimed it would create 2.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. At the time, BLS reported that the U.S. economy had about 136.1 million jobs. But by January 2009, that number fell to 134.6 million jobs. Not so coincidentally, the Obama administration upped the job-creating magic of the stimulus to 4 million jobs by the end of 2010. Putting these numbers together, we can create an objective standard to judge both the President and his stimulus by: 136.1 million plus 2.5 million equals 138.6 million, and 134.6 million plus 4 million equals 138.6 million. So the objective, Obama-administration-created, BLS-data-verifiable, jobs-accountability number is 138.6 million.

    According to the most recent BLS jobs report, the U.S. economy currently employs 129.5 million people, thus leaving President Obama’s failed stimulus 9 million jobs short of what was promised to the American people. This is the true picture of his stimulus:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to In Pictures: The Obama and Pelosi Job Gaps

    1. Sarah, VA says:

      I posted this yesterday to Matthias' blog directly, but I’m confused. I don’t understand the point the chart is trying to make. I'll grant that yes, the drop in blue is steep. But… what I see is:

      a) overall, more blue than red & more big blue bars than red – therefore more jobs for which to credit Democrats

      b) 2010 blue line higher than the 2003 red one – therefore that we’re better today than we were during the early GOP-controlled Congress days where the chart begins

      As a passionate conservative, those are principles with which I neither agree nor sympathize – but that's what the chart says at its most basic level, so I think it's dangerous for conservatives to be sharing this chart.

      Heritage acknowledges it would have done the chart differently. I'd love to see their improved version.

    2. Cheryl Brown, Colora says:

      Sarah, what the chart shows me is job growth under the Republicans, and job stagnation and loss under the Democrats. Your point b) simply means they haven't (yet) wiped out every single job created under the Republicans.

    3. Wim, MA says:

      Sarah, while the graphs themselves aren't proof, but one could say that in a Republican-run government increased jobs and a Democratic one leads to a decrease.

      First rule in statistics though: Correlation does not imply Causality.

    4. Anthony, Illinois says:

      @ Sarah, I think the first chart by Matthias would be beneficial to conservatives. What I see is that from 2003 to 2007 under a Republican led congress there was a steady and consistent increase in jobs. The increase peaks just after Democrats took control, did not rise any more, then started to decline at a much faster rate, in less time, then the job increases under the Republican Congress. To end up back at the 2003 jobs numbers is not being better off. We began going backwards in 2007 after Democrats took over congress.

      As for the more blue than red bars, the momentum was there from the Republican Congress's efforts. The jobs were already there. Democrats had nothing to do with the creation of the jobs. Job creation was stifled in 2007 with no more growth then jobs began to drop around the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2008.

      I do believe the Matthias chart does show who has done what in this area.

    5. George, Illinois says:

      a). The graph depicts the total number of jobs. In other words, we created jobs under a republican controlled Congress. We destroyed jobs once Pelosi took control.

      b). The blue line in 2010 may be higher than the red line in 2003, but the population has grown substantially and the economy has grown (despite being destroyed recently by the democrats). Overall, there is a greater % of people unemployed now than at any time under Bush. Unemployment under Bush was lower than the Clinton years also. I don't have the data in front of me, but I would bet unemployment % is higher now than in any Republican controlled Congress in the last 50 years (just a guess).

    6. kevin KENTUCKY says:

      HOLY CRAP!!!!!!

    7. Tom C MO says:

      In actuality, as we have found over the past year, government is not responsible for job creation. All government can do is decide to get in the way or out of the way. The decision to require mortgages be given to people who couldn't afford them is a great example of how seemingly altruistic government decisions can have horrendous consequences.

      The most important thing to take away from the graph is that it didn't turn up. It didn't do what we were promised it would do if we gave the government access to one huge sum of money. Lesson learned. Government get out of the way.

    8. Mike, VA says:

      Sarah, above, you don't appear to be who you claim to be.

      a.) The red trend goes up. A lot. The blue trend goes down. A lot. The red chart shows 15 quarters of Republican-controlled improvement, and the blue side shows the Democrat-controlled Congress undoing it all in 12 quarters.

      b.) You are correct. According to the graph, there are still 100,000 jobs (1.2%) left. Pelosi has only succeeded at destroying 98.8% of the jobs created since 2003.

    9. William R. Chewning, says:

      The Obama administration likes to talk about "Jobs Saved." The concept of "Jobs Saved" has received a lot of criticism, probably with merit. But there is something that bothers me about the concept that I have not heard voiced by anyone else.

      Pre-Obama, the jobs ledger had pluses and minuses. If one job was lost and another job was created, the figures balanced for no net change. But what is the opposite of "Jobs Saved?" It seems the administration has a new number that can only be good news. The Obama administration has no interest in considering the opposite, or bad news side of the ledger.

      If the federal government takes action that intervenes to prevent the "death" of a job, that would be a "Job Saved." Conceptually, someone is saying, "I planned to eliminate that job, but the government did something to change my mind. The job didn't die." In the opposite case someone is saying, "I was planning to create a new job, but the government did something to change my mind. The job I had conceived was never born." So you see the opposite of a "Job Saved" is a "Job Aborted." Do you think a lot of people have canceled hiring plans due to government activity? I do. Where are those numbers?

    10. Billie says:

      Keep in mind Obama stole 862 billion dollars to claim his speculation of a # of jobs that AMOUNTED TO NOTHING and taking over where the people had the FREEDOM to do for themselves as the people did during the Bush era.

      The man is delusional to American everything!

    11. Pingback: A picture is worth a thousand words; or Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics « Demonic Ninja Llama

    12. David, TN says:

      Sarah, you obviously went to Public schools. in 2003 we were coming out of the Clinton recession and one of the most economically devastating days in our history 9-11 (the loss of human life is obvious). this graph is NOT showing you 20 years of history. it started with the Bush tax cuts. and with that we see 8M in job growth. hamburger flippers were getting $10/hr because the market was so strong that we had more need for employees then employees. What you have is this

      Economics by Milton Friedman = +$8m jobs

      Economics by Keynes = -$8m jobs

      it Took them Dems in congress 2 years to destroy What the GOP grew in 4 years.

      So go back and look at the Chart and remember 2003 is where the tax cuts started, but Obama is not nearly done.

    13. Nicole, IL says:

      Sarah- Technically the highest unemployment rate was only 6.4 percent in 2003 (which is around the "natural" unemployment rate), which is less than the nearly 10 percent we have now. So this graph can be somewhat misleading if you look at/ analyze it the wrong way. You also forget that this is after coming off of a recession President Bush inherited & 9/11. So, technically, this country was much better off in 2003 than we are currently.

    14. Nicole, IL says:

      Sorry, I was incorrect, the highest the unemployment rate was in 2003 was 6.3 percent. Also, it's important to realize that the Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 until 2006. With that said, here's the BLS unemployment numbers over the last 10 years:


    15. Pingback: AntiObamaBlog.com » In Pictures: The Obama and Pelosi Job Gaps

    16. Michael, Missouri says:

      Sarah, without getting personal, are you sure you "looked" at the charts? 4th grade math uses more complicated charts than these. Please go look at them again, and this time take a second, or an hour to understand them.

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    20. Geoffrey, Irmo, SC says:

      As the poster above mentioned, correlation does not prove causality. One of my biggest criticisms of the Obama administration was and is the continual blaming of the Bush administration for the economy he inherited. That presumes that the President or even the congress can influence these things. What is worse is to assume that there would be no lag in the effect of the actions of congress or of a President. I think the biggest problem with Obama's policy prescriptions is the uncertainty that has been created, not necessarily his administration's direct actions related to the economy. I would assert that even Bush was too early to be blamed for the mess we are in. It probably goes to Clinton and the Republican Senate but most especially to monetary policy, for which the President should not be credited nor blamed.

    21. Patrick, Michigan says:

      Interesting graphs. In the first graph, the appearance is that the Democratic Congress is responsible for the job losses. However, this graph proves nothing about whose policies actually caused the job losses. I'm not saying that it was Democratic or Republican policies that definitely caused the losses (most likely it was some of both). I'm just saying that this graph doesn't prove anything. How many of those jobs created during the Republican Congress were due to a huge housing bubble, which created a surge in the home building, mortgage, insurance and other related industries. You can think of it in comparison to the stock market. Let's say that for five years, you get growth that is much higher than the long-term running average. The prudent investor would know that history has shown that a correction in the market will occur at some point.

      I would argue that the second graph would indicate that the Recovery Act has worked fairly well. Clearly the trend when Bush left office was that of increasing job losses. After Obama took office and implemented the Recovery Act, job losses immediately began decreasing. Maybe this is coincidence, but I don't think so. If the HF was expecting the jobs to immediately go from losing 750 thousand a month to net gains, they are dreaming. If you were to create a trendline from the graph during the Bush portion and extend it to today, you would be losing over 1.5 million jobs per month right now. Just remember that there are a lot of different ways to spin statistics.

    22. John, NJ says:

      Love the pretty pictures. Everyone likes to paint in their own style. What strikes me (as an independent) is that everyone is grandstanding an little progress is being made by either end of the isle or spectrum. I'm getting just as sick of the Reps as I am the Dems. Translate that into liberal / conservative how ever you like. Right now I can't stand either side and I'm tired of all the bull. There's five minutes of my life I'll never recoup. Carry on…

    23. Ryan, Louisville says:

      Just a heads up: the article says Obama pledged 2.5 million jobs starting from 136.1 million. The visualization says he pledged to create 3.5 million jobs and starts the graph at 135.1 million. You should probably make those match. ; )

    24. Conn Carroll Conn Carroll says:

      Ryan writes: "the article says Obama pledged 2.5 million jobs starting from 136.1 million. The visualization says he pledged to create 3.5 million jobs and starts the graph at 135.1 million. You should probably make those match."

      Ryan raises a godd point. But as the blog posts already mentions the Obama administration made numerous promises about how many jobs their stimulus would create at different times. Their numbers kept changing. But as our analysis shows, if you go back and match when each promise was made to the current BLS report at the time, a clear 138.6 million job benchmark emerges.

      And that is the benchmark reflected in the graphic.

    25. Patrick, Michigan says:

      I agree with Geoffrey, correlation does not prove causality. That was also the point of my post above. Unfortunately, this site took a couple of hours to actually 'moderate my comment' so it ended up way down the list rather than the 4th post. All of the posters in between couldn't read and comment of my post. Is this typical on this site?

    26. Steven Bellevue, Neb says:

      Well written there is little to nothing that this President can back up in facts. I agree with many who now see President Obama as a pandering phony who is endangering American culture and our Republic. There are several existing government based problems this President, the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate need to address rather than creating new bloated bureaucratic federal disasters such as Cap and Trade as well as Government run Health Care.

    27. Norma in Nebraska says:

      There is all kinds of "new math" being used in Washington, and it goes something like this: A statement of "fact" is made and as taxpayers if we CANNOT disprove it, then it must be true. Take for instance, jobs created or saved: how do you PROVE this figure? The real truth is that you can't, and as far as the left is concerned that makes the figure fact. They are using this same kind of math on cap and trade, health care, jobs, Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, Wall Street, auto industry, insurance industry, and the list goes on and on.

      The bottom line is when most of us went to school to learn mathematical logic was based on theory that could be proven, and when it was proven it was accepted as fact. I suppose this kind of logical thinking has gone by the way side right along with government's view of an "out of date" Constitution, personal accountability, and proud independence.

      God help us all . . . . we are in the fight of our lives and the enemy is within, not foreign terrorists who are trying invade and destroy us.

    28. Vern says:

      Sorry that this graph looks complicated!

      The upper blue line should perhaps not have been included, A rising line, the projection.

      It should, perhaps have been presented as a falling line only! Leftists might think it's getting better! Why do we think that a graph can be read?

    29. Elsie Hutton - San M says:

      The Media loves a good graphic, and I wish I had the skills to prepare a

      TRUTH GRAPH. My Truth Graph would track on the record broken promises and ourright lies that President Obama has told – campaign through the present.

      I would have bullets with dates/places/time & recording of his words for each point as backup for my assertions. It would be a forthright and truthful way of setting the record straight. And I think it would go over well… Reporters are lazy and love having their work done for them. All they have to do is run the clip.

      Thanks for listening… praying for our precious American way of life.

      Elsie Hutton

    30. Helgi Hrafn Gunnarss says:

      Nice. Play the "too uncivil" card (presumably) to filter out responses that point out how idiotic it is to blame this on the current president when the facts clearly show beyond even unreasonable doubt that Obama had absolutely, positively nothing to do with the graph and couldn't have, because he quite simply was not the president when the crash came.

      I know you won't approve this message either, so I'd like to take the chance and tell you to go fuck yourselves. Only because you filtered my response, you cocksucking pieces of shit. How's that for fucking civility, you drooling retards?

      I proudly put my real name on this one.

    31. Dr. Cat, Austin, Tex says:

      If you want an Obama truth graph on his campaign promises, go here: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

      The republican graph above should go from zero to 146 million, rather than zoom in on the 137 million to 146 million range. If I were to ignore the labelling and naively assume the size of the bar equals the number of jobs in America that year, it looks like we quadrupled the number of jobs from 2003 to 2007 (amazing!) but then lost 3/4 of the jobs in America from 2007 to 2010 (catastrophic!) Showing the WHOLE bar would put the figures in better perspective as to what percentage of the total number of jobs were gained or lost in a given year.

      Also I triple dog dare any republican to make a version of that graph that covers the Clinton years as well as Bush and Obama. Also to commit to make and share with people here another version of the graph in 2012 and in 2016. Not "only if it makes our side look good", but regardless of how it turns out.

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