Simply, if job growth is adequate and the U.S. unemployment rate is low or falling, good things tend to result for the sitting president in the next election. The reverse, bad things.
Further, the trend is important: unemployment could be high early in an election year, as it was in 1984 during President Ronald Reagan's re-election year, but if jobs are being created that year and the U.S. economy is growing, Americans will "stay with the policies that are succeeding" and, all other factors being equal, re-elect the sitting president, as was the case in 1984, when incumbent President Ronald Reagan, R-Calif., defeated challenger, former Vice President Walter Mondale, D-Minn.
Which Party Creates More Jobs?
Which begs an obvious question: in the modern era starting with the President Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency in 1933, presidents from which political party created more jobs -- Democratic presidents or Republican presidents?
The Republican Party claims that it is the party of pro-business, pro-growth, and pro-job creating policies.
That may very well be the GOP marquee, but U.S. Labor Department data indicates otherwise: Democratic U.S. Presidents have created more jobs per year than Republican U.S. presidents.
Over 40 years Democratic presidents created 73.22 million jobs or 1.83 million per year.
The Democratic total and averages are 71.57 million jobs and 1.647 million per year, respectively, if you include the current, partial term for President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, over 36 years Republican presidents created 34.78 million jobs or 966,388 per year.
Listed below are the jobs created by U.S. president, based on U.S. Non-Farm Payroll data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor:
The biggest job creator? President Bill Clinton -- who created a staggering 22.74 million jobs during the "Roaring 90s," good for an average of 2.84 million jobs per year.
Presidential Job Creation, By Administration
Franklin D. Roosevelt, D-N.Y., 1933-45
First term: +5.44 million (estimated)
Second term: +3.29 million (estimated)
Third term: +7.42 million
Partial fourth term: -460,000 jobs
FDR Total: +15.69 million (estimated total)
Harry Truman, D-Mo., 1945-53
Partial First term: +3.23 million jobs
Second term: +5.47 million jobs
Truman Total: +8.70 million jobs
Dwight Eisenhower, R-Kan., 1953-61
First term: +2.74 million jobs
Second term: +795,000 jobs
Ike Total: +3.54 million jobs
John F. Kennedy, D-Mass.,1961-63
JFK Partial term: +3.57 million jobs
Lyndon Johnson, D-Texas,1963-69
Partial term: +2.33 million jobs
Full term: +9.86 million jobs
LBJ Total: +12.18 million jobs
Richard Nixon, R-Calif., 1969-74
First term: +6.18 million
Partial term: +3 million jobs
Nixon Total: +9.18 million jobs
Gerald Ford, R-Mich., 1974-77
Ford Partial term: +2.07 million jobs
Jimmy Carter, D-Ga., 1977-81
Carter First term: +10.34 million jobs
Ronald Reagan, R-Calif., 1981-89
First term: +5.32 million jobs
Second term: +10.78 million jobs
Reagan Total: +16.10 million jobs
George H.W. Bush, R-Texas, 1989-93
George H.W. Bush First term: +2.59 million jobs
Bill Clinton, D-Ark., 1993-2001
First term: +11.51 million jobs
Second term: +11.24 million jobs
Clinton Total: +22.74 million jobs
George W. Bush, R-Texas, 2001-2009
First term: +7,000 jobs
Second term: +1.3 million jobs
George W. Bush Total: 1.31 million jobs
Barack Obama, D-Ill., 2009-Present
Partial term: -1.647 million jobs lost
Obama Total to date: -1.647 million jobs lost.