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How Trump's Jobs Numbers Compare To Obama, Bush, Other Past Presidents

Wayne Duggan
·2 min read

With voting wrapping up in a week, Americans are weighing the two presidential candidates and choosing which one will be best for the country over the next four years.

One way they can do that is by looking back on the first term of President Donald Trump and comparing the impact his policies have had on the country to previous administrations.

Trump’s Jobs Numbers: Trump has campaigned as the best choice for the U.S. economy. One of the best representations of the real U.S. economy is job creation. Here’s a look at annual job growth during Trump’s presidency. The 2020 number represents year-to-date losses through Oct. 28:

  • 2017: +2.2 million

  • 2018: +2.7 million

  • 2019: +2.1 million

  • 2020: -10.3 million

Related Link: Historically, Stocks Perform Better When Sitting President Is Reelected

How Trump Compares: Overall, the U.S. economy has lost an average of 825,000 jobs per year during Trump’s first term in office. Here’s a look at how those numbers stack up to President Barack Obama:

  • 2009: -5.1 million

  • 2010: +1 million

  • 2011: +2.1 million

  • 2012: +2.2 million

  • 2013: +2.3 million

  • 2014: +3 million

  • 2015: +2.7 million

  • 2016: +2.3 million

In his eight years in office, annual U.S. jobs growth averaged 1.3 million under Obama.

In fact, Trump is on track to be the only president in recent history to lose jobs during his presidency.

Here’s a look at job creation per month under the previous six U.S. presidents:

  • Jimmy Carter (D): +211,000

  • Ronald Reagan (R): +170,000

  • George HW Bush (R): +55,000

  • Bill Clinton (D): +237,000

  • George W Bush (R): +5,000

  • Barack Obama (D): +130,000

  • Donald Trump (R): -95,000

In his first four years in office, Trump has had by far the worst jobs creation numbers compared to the previous six presidents.

Overall, job creation was highest under Clinton and Carter.

Job creation was lowest under Trump and the second Bush. 

Benzinga’s Take: The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is up 19.8% in the last six months, and the stock market is a leading economic indicator.

Investors seem to be pricing in continued recovery of the jobs lost to the pandemic in 2021 regardless of which candidate wins the election.

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