With last month’s Employment Situation report and the BLS’ final revision to December’s jobs numbers, we can finally close the chapter on Obama’s legacy relating specifically to job growth during his two terms as President. His impact on the economy will likely and hopefully extend well beyond his two terms, but for the moment, and before turning to March’s non-farm payroll forecast, it’s worth briefly revisiting how remarkable job growth has been over the past 6+ years.
Much has been and will continue to be written about Obama Administration’s incredibly deft handling of the Great Recession he inherited and his lasting impact on the U.S. economy and the labor market, and I won’t presume to add much of anything new here, but a few charts are worth reposting if for no other reason than to highlight yet again how remarkable the past 6 years have been as far as job growth goes and to provide some context as we transition into Trump’s stewardship of the economy and what will become his record on jobs.
Since October of 2010, the U.S. economy has shown positive job growth for 75 straight months.
Looking at annual job gains shows both the magnitude of the job losses in 2009 during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression as well as the steady recovery orchestrated by the Obama Administration despite brutal resistance and nihilistic opposition by Republicans in Congress at every turn.
And of course, we have to post, one last time, the infamous chart from Calculated Risk that shows better than any other chart from the Great Recession, just how brutal the crisis was that Obama can rightly take all the credit for digging us out of…
There can, will, and should be a great deal of debate about the quality of the jobs that were created and what more might have been done to better address wildly alarming income inequality that has accelerated over the last decade or longer, but suffice it to say that the Obama Administration can rightly take credit for an economy that is in phenomenal shape and a Full Employment labor market that should continue to generate steady job gains and rising wages.
And looking at the growth in job openings in LinkUp’s job search engine in February and March, that is precisely what we can expect for at least the next few months. In February, new and total job openings on corporate websites each rose more than 16%. And because job openings are highly correlated to job growth in future periods, we are forecasting that February’s increase in job openings will result in net job gains of 260,000 in March.
And in March, new and total job openings rose 15% and 7% respectively with gains throughout the entire country.
Equally as encouraging, average Job Duration across LinkUp’s database of jobs (roughly 3.4 million jobs indexed daily from 30,000 company websites) dropped from 53 days in February to 50 days in March, indicating increased velocity in hiring.
So while the already-raging debate about who deserves credit for the 2017 economy will inevitably heat up in the months ahead, at least we can take solace in the fact that the argument is, at least for the time being, centered around good news.