so, the myth is that Carter’s presidency was an unmitigated disaster and Reagan created jobs across the board. The truth is that Reagan and Carter had almost identical job creation numbers in a single term, and it was Reagan’s better term by far. That also fails to note that most of the job creation under Reagan was made up of low paying service industry jobs, while under Carter most of the growth was in the manufacturing sector (although the US still lagged well behind Western Europe in terms of real growth). Jimmy Carter had a single term to show what he could do, Reagan had two terms and globally favourable conditions for the second term. This shows the basic failure of people to understand numbers and time scales, and why economics can never be a science (you can’t go back and re-run the experiment to see if you get the same results, and you can’t establish a control group).
The actual employment numbers are as follow (all numbers are in thousands):
The start of Jimmy Carters presidency (January 1977): 80692
The start of Ronald Reagan’s first term (January 1981): 91031 – change 10399
The start of Ronald Reagan’s second term (January 1985): 96353 – change 5322
The end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency (January 1989): 107133 – change 10780