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Jobs lost under Bush v. Obama

I think this graphic — prepared by Nancy Pelosi using month-by-month job loss data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — speaks for itself. I hope the Dems show this every time anyone tries to blame Obama for the high unemployment rate.

Isn’t it refreshing to see the Democrats finally starting to fight back? In addition to the above graph, David Axelrod recently pointed out that even though the Republicans claim to be for cutting taxes, the Democrats managed to pass 25 tax cuts last year, all of which the Republicans opposed.

UPDATE: Here’s a more recent chart:

The source article also has a really interesting example of how Fox distorts graphs like this.



  1. Karl wrote:

    This graph only shows how bankrupt of ideas those in Washington are, especially Nancy Pelosi. The blame game should stop on either side because it’s counter-productive.
    The fact is that Obama has been the President over a year now and governments don’t control the economy, but they can effect measures to help the unemployed and make sure the stimulus gets where it is needed to create some jobs.

    So let’s stop the madness of Democrats Good, Republican Bad. After all this President ran on a United States of America. To me that is all inclusive. Wake up people.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 6:33 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    Is Karl Rove reading your Polital Irony page. Karl Rove for whom Beck and Hannity are mouth pieces?

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    I couldn’t help but notice that if you rotated the chart 180 degrees, it seems to be flipping you/us off ever so slightly. Evidence of a sense of humor?

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  4. Joey_108 wrote:

    Why aren’t Democrats pushing into the media truth like this chart, President Reagan’s tax increases, and Republican accomplishments [sic], when the truth is on their side? Makes you wonder if for Democrats in office it’s true that the lights are on but no one’s at home.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    EBDoug — yeah, that comment from “Karl” really does sound like it came right out of the mouth of Rove. But don’t worry Karl, Obama can love the Republicans and be their president, while hating their behavior and actions.

    As for Joey_108, are you kidding? The whole point of this post was that the Dems are fighting back, and — as you put it — “pushing into the media truth like this chart”. But when the entire mainstream media is controlled by a few multinational corporations, do you think they are going to run with news like this? What would you suggest that Democrats do to ensure that news like this gets out? Buy a few television stations like the Republicans did with Fox News?

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    Goodness, Reagan gave tax cuts. When the tax code was devised 100 years ago, the rich paid 50%, under Mellon, it was cut to 33%, Reagan cut the tax of the Rich to 28%-that is a tax cut. Not to be outdone, Bush cut the rate to 16% for the rich. Christian Science monitor estimates if the Tax Cuts to the Rich are allowed to expire at the end of this year, we will see $210 Billion a year in our treasury to pay the debt down on Bush’s war games. Please e-mail your senator and representatives. My siblings and I who benefit from Bush’s tax cuts have cried foul since he passed them. We will pay more and gladly.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink
  7. DaLo wrote:

    This article lost me at “prepared by Nancy Pelosi”

    Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  8. Kevitivity wrote:

    Considering the source, how can anyone take this seriously? Furthermore, government doesn’t create jobs!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    If you are saying you don’t believe the numbers, you are more than welcome to look up the numbers yourself, at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    If you are saying that you choose to ignore facts, and believe what you want to believe, then there’s probably nothing I can do to persuade you otherwise.

    I do know that under Bush, the economy went south, and lots of people I know lost their jobs. And now, I’m seeing companies hiring again. Heck, even my company is hiring again.

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
  10. MATTHEW wrote:


    Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink
  11. A picture says a thousand words. Great Post, Great Blog.
    Cindy Lou

    Monday, April 5, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink
  12. spk2moi wrote:

    All I can say is y’all are in la-la land. Just because Nancy Pelosi says it doesn’t make it true. Did you hear that unemployment went up to 9.7% TODAY? Keep up the dishonesty. The people who are unemployed will rise up in November and wipe out your dishonest charts.

    Friday, May 7, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  13. spk2moi wrote:

    Oops. Make that 9.9% unemployment, with a government that says job losses is the “new normal.” Phony, incompetent, disastrous.

    Friday, May 7, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    ALL 8 MILLION OF THE JOB LOSSES OCCURED ON PELOSI’S WATCH. It really is an outrage for her to blame someone else for the job losses on her watch.

    Monday, June 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  15. roger wrote:

    this chart is showing obama is doing better. well, why is the unemployment almost 10% but they say it is realy almost 20%. i have been out of a job over a year and my county unemployment is 17%. the highest ever.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  16. roger wrote:

    i think privatizing some of ss would be great. no one knows what the future holds but i bought stock with the co. i worked for 27 years. i left the co. at 55, early retirement because my wife was sick. i paid into ss all those years and might never draw anything from it if i die. but my family will get my stock from this co. where i have over 250,000 dollars.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  17. DW McKinney wrote:

    As I have heard, correct me if I am wrong, but Obama has created more jobs in less than two years than bush created in all of his eight years. If it is not true, then it should be and Obama needs to start busting repuke heads, and, And, AND, 3-6 Democrats heads as well!!!

    Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  18. Nunya Business wrote:

    How long will Americans continue this ignorant, convenient amnesia? Some people on this site are choosing to believe that the figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were formulated by Nancy Pelosi? What morons! That is precisely the reason we are in this mess to begin with. What will you do for an encore, elect Sarah Palin!? thank goodness I will be leaving this shit country (forever) in two months. May all of you idiot Bushies spend the rest of your lives tolling away in this third world country. Go read “Behold A Palehorse” by William Cooper – a retired (and now dead) Naval Intelligence officer. You will be very afraid. He even discussed the events of 9/11 in 1991! Wake up morons!

    Friday, October 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Permalink
  19. Samantha wrote:

    Did anybody notice that the graph stops in Jan ’10! Where is the data for the past 10 months? Dems are no longer Dems and they are brainwashing America — wake up and take the Democratic party back from these radicals. As far as I can remember everybody in my family and my friends had jobs under Bush under Obama they do not. I don’t care what the graph says, I care about what is actually happening. The Obama administration is BLIND to real life and real Americans. They want you to fall in line and I personally refuse.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  20. Iron Knee wrote:

    Samantha, I posted this chart on February 6th, and then I updated it later with a more recent chart, which includes data until June. You clearly didn’t even read the post.

    The most likely reason why “everybody in my family and my friends had jobs under Bush” but not under Obama was that you work for the Republican party. 🙂

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  21. Samantha wrote:

    I nor my family work or are involved with the Republican party. I see you posted in Feb but for some reason the chart is being circulated again. The chart to me is misleading stating the number of jobs lost each month not a total number that keeps increasing. As I see it, jobs continue to be lost each month under both Presidents but no jobs are being gained. Your are contradicting yourself in saying the jobs lost is getting better under Obama, when it is still showing jobs being lost. This number just keeps compounding. How many more jobs can be lost — the number will go down but that does not mean the jobs lost Nov-April ever came back so those people are still out of work and more continue to lose their job.

    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink
  22. Iron Knee wrote:

    Samantha, thank you for responding.

    You say “As I see it, jobs continue to be lost each month under both Presidents but no jobs are being gained.” If you look at the second chart (and even the very end of the first chart) you will see that jobs are being gained. So how am I contradicting myself? It is clearly getting better under Obama.

    Yes, after Obama took office, people continued to lose jobs for a while. Things did not get magically better the instant that Obama was sworn in. But according to the (non-partisan) CBO, the stimulus bill helped create as many as 3 million jobs. Things would have been much worse without it. And things likely would be even better if the party of “deficits don’t matter” would stop threatening to filibuster everything Obama tries to do to save the economy. Their only proposal is more tax cuts for the rich, but we saw how well that worked under Bush — they promised that the tax cuts in 2003 would lead to more jobs, but they left office with the economy in shambles. Are you going to believe them again?

    And yes, the number of jobs gained so far has not completely offset even the number of jobs that were lost under Bush. But at least we are going in the right direction. You say “more continue to lose their job” but this is simply not true. The number of people employed is going up now, not down. The graph shows change in number of jobs. A value of 0 means that no jobs were lost or gained. The last value on the second chart shows over 400,000 jobs gained. That’s 400,000 fewer people out of work. I’m sorry that none of them were your friends or family.

    Under Bush, the economy just kept getting worse. Not only were more people losing their jobs every month, but the number of people losing their jobs was increasing month over month. So far, in less than two years in office, Obama has created more jobs than Bush did in his entire 8 years in office. It is said that the only thing that ended the Great Depression was WWII, but even starting two wars didn’t help the economy under Bush.

    Is that clear?

    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  23. Craig328 wrote:

    It’s times like this I have to wonder…do you even understand what the first chart represents? Each bar is for jobs lost that month. Is the economy shedding more jobs each month during Obama’s reign? Not typically. However, each month with the exception of 11/09 the economy STILL lost jobs. This would be despite the stimulus that was supposed to halt that slide as well as the fact that the country only has so many jobs it can shed before it bottoms out naturally and all by itself.

    I think it’s also telling that TEN MONTHS LATER the news is the same or worse. We’ve lost more jobs since then. September of this year saw us lose 95,000 non-farm jobs. The unemployment rate has held rock steady in the 9.5-10.0% range and that’s WITH the stimulus and the faux bump that the 2010 census jobs lent to the numbers. Oh, and we got that extra large debt we incurred when the stimulus that’s done nearly nothing discernable was added to the overall debt.

    Great work guys. Believe me, I wanted to like Obama when he was elected even though I didn’t vote for him…but all he’s proven to me since he took office is that the United States Presidency is not and shouldn’t be used for on the job training.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  24. Iron Knee wrote:

    craig328, and just what are you (or any opposing politicians) proposing instead of what Obama is doing? If you are just going to attack Obama and not offer any alternatives, then you are just being a troll.

    If you are saying that Obama is doing worse than the previous occupant, then you are either lying or delusional. Obama has already created more jobs than Dubya did in 8 years.

    And did you even look at the second chart?

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  25. turnright wrote:

    More voodoo job creation I would say. I suppose democrats can make any chart look like they are accomplishing some thing. THE TRUTH. When Obama took office there were 10.6m unemployed. Today there are 14.8 million. The poverty rate has gone from 12.5 to 14.3 percent under OBAMA. The democrats have had control of congress since 2006 and have yet to pass meaningful job creation legislation. All they do is spend money like drunken sailors to buy off votes and then when they wake up and see what they have done to the economy they start TAXING the people to get their house in order. Democrats are total failures in economic matters.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
  26. Iron Knee wrote:

    The truth is that Republicans had control of everything for 6 years and drove the economy into the toilet. Of the people who are unemployed today, the largest number became unemployed under the Bush administration. Obama has been in office for (slightly) less than 2 years, and yet because he hasn’t been able to completely clean up the mess created by the Republicans, you say they are total failures in economic matters. You complain that they have not been able to “pass meaningful job creation legislation” — you mean the legislation that the Republicans have filibustered every time the Dems have tried to pass it?

    Turnright, you sound suspiciously like another troll. What’s next, are you going to try to blame two wars and 9/11 on the Democrats?

    Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  27. SFC MAC wrote:

    You’re kidding right?

    THE ANNOINTED ONE’s accomplishments:
    Over 4 million jobs have been lost during Obama’s tenure, so far. The number currently stands at 15.1 million; that’s over 10%. The current oficial numbers don’t include those who simply stopped looking for work and ran out of unemployment benefits. That puts it closer to 15%.

    We now have a $13 trillion debt, a trade deficit of $109 billion, an $814 billion “stimulus”, $787 billion dollars in taxpayer funded bailouts, government takeovers of banks, auto industry, insurance corporations, and health care, and making our country safer for muslim terrorists.

    How’s that change working out for all you Obama lovers?

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
  28. Barry wrote:

    What party was in the majority control of both houses of Congress from 2007 – 2008 – 2009 – 2010 ??? Therein lies` your your job loss issue !!

    Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  29. Winston Smith wrote:

    It went from:

    “America has a strong economy and a surplus…. Now is the time to reform the tax code and share some of the surplus with the people who pay the bills.”
    –George W. Bush, nomination acceptance speech, 3 August 2000


    “Extent of Americans’ Suffering Under George W. Bush Revealed by Census Data”
    While Bush was president, median income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more dramatically, and there was an upsurge in Americans without health insurance.”

    Two wars, and an economic meltdown…

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink
  30. S/Sgt Joe Romeo wrote:

    I wonder who created the housing bubble? Were their names Dodd and Frank? Was it their pressure on the Banks to create those toxic loans that started the housing decline? Further more government does not create jobs,the private sector creates jobs.If there is to many gov’t regulations to hinder job growth, there will be no growth. Hey Stuart Skullf#@ks Blogosphere, I was forced to join Medicare because I retired. My private Health Insurance which I paid for was and still is better than Medicare hands down. Sgt. Joe Romeo(ret.)You talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.There is no Medicare Fund it all goes into the general fund.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  31. S/Sgt. Joe Romeo wrote:

    Hey Winston; Who has raised this country’s debt over the last 2 years by over $2 trillion.Another question,who had control of both houses of congress since Jan. 2007? Who is responsible for paying this debt back? You should know the answers Winston,we the people are.In the last 2 years we have the highest unemployment rate since before WW11.
    who is the President at the present time? Sgt.Joe Romeo(ret)Proud Vet.of the US Army

    Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  32. Geraldine Custer wrote:

    In order to reduce spending, it seems that Republicans only want to cut entitlements and social programs with a little lip service to the bloated defense budget. Reminds me of the type of negotiations practiced by the Russans, they only wanted to negotiate what we had.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  33. cr777cr wrote:

    Bush could have created jobs if he had tax payers money to do it with.
    The economy would have started coming back anyway. Statistically it happens.

    Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink
  34. Maddog wrote:

    Pick the statistics you want:

    Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

    During the Bush presidency, net total employment went up by 1.08 million jobs. So far, during the Obama presidency, total employment has been reduced by 3.3 million jobs.

    Under Bush, private employment shrank by 673,000 jobs, federal employment grew by 50,000 jobs, and government employment grew by 1,753,000 jobs.

    Under Obama, the private sector has shed some 2.9 million jobs while the federal government has grown by 40,000 (after growing massively, the federal workforce shrank throughout the summer). Total government jobs, however, shrank by 357,000 jobs, mainly because of cuts at the state and local levels.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 5:48 am | Permalink
  35. Jeff wrote:

    This guy is so full of shit. So many people out there need jobs. Where are they can some one please tell me, Are they in china??

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  36. Arthanyel wrote:

    Jeff – he is not “full of” anything, these are the actual statistics.

    There are actually enough jobs available to drop unemployment down to about 5.5% – but the jobs are in the wrong places (and people cant move because they cant sell their anchor chain of a house) or they require the wrong skills.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink
  37. Curvi wrote:

    This is what it’s like where I live. At a time when it’s very difficult for people to find jobs in my home town the company I work for doubles our work load and cuts our guaranteed hours by 40%. They blame it on the economy. This same company, headed mostly by a Republican administration, gave themselves (the bosses) a raise, and we (the average employees of this company) found out later that they actually had a 5% increase in customer cliental. This is a common pattern where I live. July 2008 gas prices peak at 4.17 a gallon in my town, and if you look at the chart above, you’ll notice that’s when the down fall in jobs got bad. Makes one wonder. Have we been sabotaged by big business? It happened shortly before the election when Bush knew he would lose. Large companies are making huge profits while employees take cuts in benefits and wages. Republicans support big business and big profits while the average employee, which these companies can’t stay in business without, get low wages and no benefits. That’s why so many companies hire part time now (avoid paying for fulltime benefits by law). And then they have the gall to call us poor folk lazy. Are you kidding? Big business, greed, power, and profits is first priority in this country, and the welfare of the common employee is last. It’s wrong and they know it, but they do not care. Then the Dems. (Obama) are left trying like hell to fix it while the Rep. fight like hell to stop them from succeeding. That could cost them there jobs. Ironic isn’t it.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  38. dave smith wrote:

    Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result! All conservatives say the same things, cut corporate tax rates, tax cuts for the wealthy, reduce govt. regulation. This worked great under Bush. It gave is the savings and loan crisis and bailout, wall street crisis, and millions of jobs lost, and 2 bogus wars. If you elect conservative in 2012 do you really expect things to be different than from 2000 to 2008?

    Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink
  39. Jose_X wrote:

    There appears to be significant confusion over some basics here.

    spk2moi, the unemployment rate is a result of that graph.

    Bush threw us over a cliff. Obama caught us further down below. That isn’t the fault of Obama. That is unavoidable mathematical reality.

    The graphs make it clear that Obama has been fighting to bring us back up.

    The other sad thing is that the recovery stalled after the new Republicans came to power at the beginning of 2011.

    So the only obvious conclusion here is that for some years now, more Republicans means an increase in job losses and more Democrats means a reduction in job losses. The unemployment level is the marker on the mountain of how high we are after being thrown off by Bush and being caught by Obama down below.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

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