According to Calculated Risk (Bill McBride):
On Friday, I mentioned that private job creation was on pace for the best ever during a presidential term. I received a few emails asking if that was correct. The answer is “yes”.
Clinton’s two terms were the best for both private and total non-farm job creation, followed by Reagan’s 2nd term.
Currently Obama’s 2nd term is on pace to be the best ever for private job creation.
Things are not as “rosy” as CR would have it. The charts illustrate with private employment indexed to 1 at the start of each presidential term (all charts have the same scale for ease of comparison).
Reagans first term was impacted by the deep 1981/82 recession. Employment rose strongly thereafter. When Obama took over in January 2009, private employment had dropped by almost 4 million in the previous 12 months, and continued to fall. The recovery was pretty feeble given the low starting level. It´s doing better in the second term, but even if it doubles up in the next 24 months, it will only be as good as Clinton´s second term, and less than Clinton´s first or Reagan´s second term.
The main point is that, given the initial fall in employment, we should have expected a much better performance during Obama´s tenure It has, in fact been pretty weak!