The Trump administration has been doing quite well on jobs. The economy has added a number of jobs since he took over and it’s likely that this will be one of the key messages in his re-election bid. If it was up to him, the president would do whatever it takes to have the economy generate millions of jobs before the 2020 election. Presidents actually have some power over controlling how the economy generates jobs. For example, they have the power to set tariffs on goods produced in other countries, initiate deregulation, and increase consumer confidence. During the State of the Union address, Trump started off touting the success of his administration on job growth. But how has he performed compared to other presidents? Well, we have compiled a list since World War II.
Let’s start off with Franklin D. Roosevelt who during his time as president added a total of 9.5 million jobs. Harry Truman, on the other hand, had 6.9 million jobs added for the entire duration of his administration. When Dwight Eisenhower came in, the numbers dropped to 4.8 million. John F. Kennedy has the lowest number of jobs added at 2.4 million but his time in office was short-lived. There was a significant jump though when Lyndon B. Johnson took over adding 8.6 million jobs to the economy. This success continued during Nixon’s administration with 9.4 million jobs added.
But from 1974, there was a sharp drop under Gerald Ford. During his administration, only 3.6 million jobs were added. But Jimmy Carter turned things around a few years later with 9.8 million jobs. However, it was during Reagan’s administration when job numbers went above the 10 million mark hitting 16.5 million. But the same success couldn’t be replicated during George H.W. Bush one-term administration with only 2.9 million jobs added. A few years later, things picked up in a big way during Bill Clinton’s administration. Clinton recorded the highest job numbers ever and his record is still intact. During his time, 18.6 million jobs were added.
When George W. Bush took over, the numbers fell considerably. The administration added only 5.8 million jobs. Obama’s election in 2008 had its share of challenges. The economy was already in recession after the financial crisis but he managed to steer it towards recovery with 8.9 million jobs added. The Trump administration inherited quite a healthy economy and job numbers have also been good. But if you assume that the president will get two terms and tally the numbers based on the monthly averages reported so far, the best Trump can do is hit 4.7 million jobs.
This might change over the next few years based on how the economy performs. But even then, it’s very unlikely that the job numbers will change that much. In essence, if we were to rank the presidents based on job numbers alone, Trump wouldn’t even be in the top ten. The president touted his success on jobs sometimes even calling it the best in history. But the numbers show a different story. In fact, only John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush have performed worse than Trump.