Manufacturing, which shed 4.5 million jobs under Bush’s presidency, and 1.045 million during Barack Obama’s first term, has also begun to turn around, gaining 532,000 since 2010 (see table below). Construction jobs, on the other hand, are rebounding more slowly.
Ironically, the government jobs sector saw the second-highest level of growth under President Bush, but has shed jobs under the Obama administration.
The political implications of the economic data are still unclear, according to Wilkinson. “The visual makes it very difficult to determine whether the economy is better off as it is or would see improved performance in the context of a regime change,” he notes. “In turn, that is not helped by the lack of clarity surrounding specific political proposals to help the micro-economy. Ahead of the August employment report, it remains a tougher call as to whether the still-difficult labor market is improving fast enough to help Obama move into a decisive lead in the opinion polls.”