NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Clinton V. Reagan On Jobs

April 11, 1996

President Clinton claims that two million new jobs were created per year during his watch. But when analysts measure it in terms of creating full-time jobs, the Clinton administration's record is that of an also-ran.

  • During the 1983-88 Reagan economic recovery, the increase in hours worked translated into an average 2.2 million new full-time jobs per year.
  • The period following the 1973-74 recession saw the creation of 2.6 million new full-time jobs each year.
  • But the current economic recovery has seen less than 1.6 million new full-time positions created each year.

Further, job growth should be judged relative to the number of workers. And the working-age population is now almost 9 percent larger than it was in the Reagan years.

  • In the 1983-89 expansion, new full-time jobs were 119 percent of population growth.
  • In the Clinton years, new full-time jobs have been just 64 percent of the increase in population.

Moreover, the economic expansion began before Clinton assumed office. And even some Democrats agree with economists who point to the dampening effects of the Clinton income-tax rate hikes targeted at the key job producing sector of the American economy: small business.

In 1993, the Democrat-controlled Joint Economic Committee of Congress -- seeking to justify the so-called "economic stimulus package" -- warned that Clinton's fiscal policy would "continue to exert downward pressure on economic activity throughout the next five years." The committee was unanimous, and included such liberal notables as Ted Kennedy.

Source: Editorial, "It's Clintonomics, Stupid," Investor's Business Daily, April 11, 1996.


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