Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What about the public sector?

My last two posts have dealt with private sector job growth, because that's what Bill Clinton talked about in the speech.  But like it or not, there are a lot of public sector jobs too.  Here is a ranking of presidents by average annual public sector job growth:  

 Johnson            4.888
 Kennedy            3.601
 Eisenhower         2.894
 Nixon              2.859
 Ford               2.094
 Carter             2.077
 GHW Bush           1.537
 Clinton            1.218
 Reagan             1.036
 GW Bush            1.003
 Obama             -0.832

The basic pattern is the earlier the president, the greater the public sector job growth.  There are a couple of departures from the pattern--public sector job growth was higher than expected under Johnson, and lower under Reagan.  Obama is also unusual--the drop between Bush and Obama is bigger than the drop between Carter and Reagan.  Taking all presidents together, there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans. 

While I'm at it, here's a graph of government employment as a proportion of all employment.

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