Reclaiming Common Sense

November Record Level of New Full-time Jobs after 22 Months in Office

The November Jobs Report was tepidly received on Friday December 7th. The "headline jobs number" was lower than anticipated. Wages grew, just not at the employment level "wanted." Unemployment dropped. The problem is that most individuals report on the report and not on the data. This column has already published two articles covering the November Jobs Report:

  • "November Jobs Report: What Recession Coming?" in which the non-seasonally adjusted data was examined. It was found that we had our fourth best November Private Sector Worker data since 1979. The last recession was a housing recession followed by a jobs recession, followed by a retail sales recession. We have more workers and more jobs than we had last November
  • "Wages and Workers rose during November" detailed how the November average weekly wage was higher for all sectors compared to last November. It also detailed the differences between the seasonally adjusted data and the non-seasonally adjusted data, as well as the revisions to the prior data.

Last month was the mid-term elections, and President Obama was attempting to compare his final two years in office with President Trump's first 21 months in office. He didn't think that someone would do that. This someone did with the article "President Trump v. Obama at 21 months,"in which it was reported that President Trump had added more full-time jobs, cut more people from unemployment, and added more workers than former President Obama. The only thing that Obama did was add more part-time jobs. He didn't want to compare their first 21 months in office because we were in a recession his first year in office.

This column had been comparing the President for years. The first comparisons were the "Four Presidents" articles. It was important to compare the four Presidents at the same points in their Presidencies because someone was trying to compare President Obama at 81 months with Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and George W Bush at 96 months. When President Obama left after 96 months in office he left with the lowest participation rate of the four Presidents. Participation matters. Population matters. His participation rate would have been reported lower than it was if his population total had not been revised lower from December 2016 to January 2017.

Do Republicans grow the workforce population faster than Democrats? Population is critical in calculating the participation rate.

  • Former President Reagan grew the population by 3.954M
  • Former President Clinton saw the population grow by 3.645M
  • Former President Bush added 4.660M workers
  • Former President Obama added 3.976M workers
  • President Trump has added 4.626M workers

How was it that President Obama added the same number of workers to the workforce population as former President Reagan did 28 years prior, while Reagan started with a much smaller workforce population base?

President Trump has added more full-time jobs than any of the other four former Presidents, and more than all of them combined.

  • Former President Obama was still down 2.467 million full-time jobs
  • Former President Reagan lost 979,000
  • Former President Bush lost 5000
  • Only Former President Clinton added full-time jobs. Only 4.318 million.
  • President Trump has added 6.445 million full-time jobs.

President Clinton added more total jobs because he added the most part-time jobs of the five. President Trump has added the least part-time jobs as of month 22.

Presidents Clinton and Trump were the only ones to decrease unemployment levels.

Only former President Obama and former President Bush saw their participation rates decline during his first 22 months in office. Unemployed workers are participants. Presidents Clinton and Trump added negative participants by reducing unemployment. President Bush added 2 million participants for 4.6 million people.President  Obama only added 253,000 participants for 4 million new workers.

Participation matters. If we factor in the changes in participation rates and compare the unemployment rate from 1999 with that from this month we find that the effective unemployment rate is over 10%. The highest November Effective Unemployment rate was 12.89% during November 2010. President Reagan had an effective unemployment rate of 14.34% during November 1982. We are missing 3 million workers that we might have if we had the same participation rate as former  President Reagan, 4 million more if we had former President Obama's participation rate, 8.8 million more workers if we had former President Bush's participation rate, and almost 10 million more workers if we had former President Clinton's participation rate.

The reason that President Trump's participation rate is not improving as fast as it should is because his workforce population is being calculated as growing the fastest of the Presidents. Former President Clinton's workforce population was increased during his final year in office, while former Presidents Bush and Obama saw their workforce populations reduced during their final month n office, effectively booting their participation rates.

This is "the best" economy that we have had in a very long time. Full-time jobs are at a record high. Retail sales are heading to another record year. New Construction is the best it has been since 2008.Unemployment is still below the level it was last year at this time of the year. GDP should continue to show year over year same quarter growth this fourth quarter.

It's the economy.