Krugman weighs in on the jobs picture. (He also talks about the upcoming revision here).
The new White House “fact sheet” on the economy declares that job growth since August 2003 is the “longest continuous months of job growth on record.”
That’s literally true – the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the great jobs boom of the 1990s do show a couple of scattered months of job decline, although these are probably statistical blips. But by any reasonable standard, job growth in the Bush years has fallen way short of growth in the Clinton years.
All the data are available at the BLS web site.
Over the whole of the Clinton administration, the economy added 22.7 million jobs – 237,000 per month.
Over the whole of the Bush administration to date, the economy added only 5.8 million jobs – 72,000 per month.
The Bushies like to pretend that history began in August 2003, so that they can ignore the job losses early in the administration. But even that doesn’t do the trick. Since August 2003, the economy has added 8.5 million jobs – 172,000 per month. So even by cherry-picking the good Bush years and pretending the bad years never happened, they still can’t match the average rate of job creation under Clinton.
Now, you might say that Clinton doesn’t deserve all the credit for good things that happened on his watch – and I agree. But it’s the Bushies who are trying to spin a mediocre job record into proof that their policies are wonderful.