It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration:
Paddy gave us the quickie version here, but as always, the wonderful Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog has provided the Bikini Graphs and more, including more details you can find at the links here and here. A couple of excerpts from both links:
For most of President Obama's first term, one of the more common Republican talking points focused on the overall unemployment rate: it was stuck above 8%, a fact they blamed on the president who inherited a global economic crisis.
You may have noticed that this GOP talking point has since vanished.
As of today, the unemployment rate is down to 7.5%, which is not only the lowest point of the Obama presidency, but also the lowest since late 2008. It's dropped a full point in the last year and a half, a 2.5 points since its October 2010 high.
It's also one of the fastest improvements in the jobless rate in the last 30 years...
He goes on to say that, since President Obama took office, the net jobs gain is over 1.5 million overall and over 2.2 million in the private sector.
As is usually the case, there was a gap between the two major sectors -- America's private sector added 176,000 jobs last month, while spending cuts caused the public sector lose 11,000 jobs.Of course, these are preliminary totals that will be updated in the coming months, and therein lies the key importance to this new jobs report: the revisions... Also note, the February job totals, the best in eight years, came after January's tax hikes, but before the sequester. [...]
[W]ere it not for Congress and sequestration cuts, the nation's economic recovery would likely be quite strong right now. Were it not for the lawmakers Americans elect to represent our interests, and their ongoing efforts to take capital out the economy and slash public investments, job growth would probably be very robust.
The blue-chip average topped the 15000 mark for the first time ever as traders cheer a round of strong data on the U.S. labor market. The broader S&P 500 also hit a milestone, surpassing the 1600 threshold for the first time. The two market barometers are up more than 1% on the day and 13% for the year.