Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stimulus Redux

Among the articles of faith held by conservatives, especially those who are regular viewers of Fox News, are that President Obama's policies kill jobs and that the stimulus didn't work. Both are false.

The chart, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, plots monthly private sector job growth from January, 2008 through July, 2011. The big picture is that job growth was increasingly negative toward the end of the Bush administration and began improving within a few months of President Obama's election, particularly after the stimulus took effect. When the stimulus began to wind down job growth leveled off, but remained positive, albeit at a relatively low level.

Private Sector Job Growth

Of course, it's possible some or all of these correlations are just coincidence. Even if that were the case this single chart administers Last Rites to both the "Obama as job killer" and the "stimulus failed" panders. The data just don't support either proposition.

If anything the data suggest the stimulus should have been bigger. Panderbear doesn't expect Republicans to get behind that suggestion anytime soon. After all, it violates their received doctrine.

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