Last night at the Democratic National Convention during his Obama nomination speech, Bill Clinton stated, “”Since 1961 … our private economy produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million.”
“Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24,” Clinton said. “In those 52 years, our private economy produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million.” In the packed convention hall, it was one of the night’s biggest applause lines.
In 2010, we checked a similar claim from Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who said that Democratic presidents “have been considerably more effective at creating private-sector jobs.” After crunching the numbers back to President Harry Truman, we found that jobs did indeed grow faster under Democratic presidents when adjusted for a president’s years served in office. So we rated the claim True.
Clinton’s claim at the convention was worded differently, so we quickly re-crunched the numbers based on his specifications.
Let’s cut to the chase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the net increases in private-sector employment under each president, chronologically by party:
Richard Nixon: Increase of 7.1 million jobs
Gerald Ford: Increase of 1.3 million jobs
Ronald Reagan: Increase of 14.7 million jobs
George H.W. Bush: Increase of 1.5 million jobs George W. Bush: Decline of 646,000 jobs
Total: Increase of 23.9 million jobs under Republican presidents
John F. Kennedy: Increase of 2.7 million jobs
Lyndon B. Johnson: Increase of 9.5 million jobs
Jimmy Carter: Increase of 9.0 million jobs
Bill Clinton: Increase of 20.8 million jobs
Barack Obama: Increase of 332,000 jobs
Total: Increase of 42.3 million jobs.
So Clinton is right. But we’ll bring up a few points worth noting.