Barack Obama’s magic jobs number

Nate Silver’s statistical analysis indicates that incumbent Presidents since World War Two, and especially from 1980, have been likely to be re-elected if U.S. jobs are increasing at a rate of 150,000 a month in the election year.  The United States in fact added 227,000 jobs in February.

If Silver is correct, President Obama should be on track to win—barring the unforeseen—in spite of an unemployment rate still stubbornly high and long-term unemployment at record levels.  Of course he is helped by the lack of a sensible economic policy from any of his potential Republican opponents.

Click on Obama’s Magic Number? 150,000 Jobs Per Month for Nate Silver’s report in his FiveThirtyEight column for the New York Times column.

Click on Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures and The Legacy of the Great Recession for charts by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities showing just how bad the job situation still is.

Click on Statement by chief CPBB Chad Stone on the February employment report for analysis of the February jobs figures.

Click on Full Employment: A Force Against Rising Inequality and Stagnant Incomes for a report by economist Jared Bernstein on why it is vital to get back to a full employment economy.

Hat tip to Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture for the chart.


Click on Employment Situation Summary for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics press release.

Click on Employment Situation Summary Table A: Household data, seasonally adjusted for the results of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly survey of households.

Click on Employment Situation Summary Table B: Establishment data, seasonally adjusted for the results of the bureau’s monthly survey of employers.

Click on Employment Situation Frequently Asked Questions for information about the two different surveys and how they are done.

Both these sets of figures are seasonally adjusted, which means they are changed to allow for the normal ups and downs in employment that happen every year.

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3 Responses to “Barack Obama’s magic jobs number”

  1. Atticus Finch Says:

    I noticed that we gained 227,000 jobs but unemployment remained at 8.3%. I wonder if that means we have also lost roughtly 227,000 jobs or if additional peoplea are entering the job market due to unemployment benefits running out and the market getting better.

    Whether we are still losing jobs or new people are now looking for work – both would say something interesting about the economy…


  2. philebersole Says:

    The 227,000 figure is the increase in the total number of Americans with non-farm jobs, as indicated by a survey of employers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    There probably are discouraged workers coming back into the U.S. work force, but the job gain is tiny compared to the estimated 12.8 million unemployed, which include 5.4 million long-term unemployed—both figures basically unchanged, according to the BLS.

    Here is a link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

    I’ll put links to the BLS data in the main post


  3. Homepage Says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 49574 more Infos: […]


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