Category Archives: Obama administration

18/6/19: Obama v Trump: Jobs Creation


Who had the more impressive numbers in terms of jobs creation: President Obama or President Trump? This question is non-trivial. For a number of reason.

Take first the superficially-simple comparative:

  • On a y/y basis, average monthly change in total non-farm payrolls under the last 28 months of President Obama Administration was 2,704,000 using non-seasonally-adjusted data. For the first 28 months of the Trump Administration, the same figure was 2,394,000. So by this metric, things were better under Obama Administration last 28 months in office.
  • The caveat to the above is that as jobs numbers grow, each consecutive period, new additions of jobs should be harder and harder to come up with, especially during the mature period of the expansion cycle. In other words, after some number of quarters of economic recovery, creating more new jobs gets harder, primarily because the pool of potential employees to be hired into jobs shrinks. So, adjusting Obama figures and Trump figures for this, we can use rate of change in 28 months averages. This is not easy to do, because we do not have consecutive 28 months periods of first rising, then falling jobs additions averages for any period, except for the 1990s. Back then, jobs creation first run at 483,000 monthly average in 1991-1993, 3,124,000 in 1993-1995, 2,889,000 in 1996-1998 and 3,080,000 in 1998-2000. So within upside cycle, the net decline in jobs creation was between 1.74% and 7.2%. Applying these to Obama Administration’s peak jobs creation rate over any 28 months period gives us the rate of Obama Administration cycle-adjusted jobs creation of between 2,509,150 and 2,656,775 - both of these figures are higher than the raw numbers for the Trump Administration’s first 28 months in office. 
  • In monthly average jobs creation measured on m/m basis, Obama Administration’s last 28 months in offer yielded 128,000 monthly jobs additions on average. The Trump Administration’s comparable figure is 294,000, vastly outpacing Obama Administration’s record. This means that, in total,  during the Obama Administration last 28 months in office, the U.S. economy has created net 2,527,000. In Trump’s Administration 28 months in office, the economy generated 7,206,000 jobs. 
  • The above figures, however, is heavily weighted against the last 28 Obama Administration period due to the final two months of the period coinciding with heavily seasonality-related effects (December and January effects). Controlling for seasonality effects, Obama Administration comparable net jobs creation over that period was 7,139,000 against Trump’s 7,206,000.
  • Finally, looking at the entire jobs cycle, as illustrated in the chart below:


Note, I consider the period of Obama Administration with sustained jobs creation - a sort of
‘jobs creation upside cycle’ that started in March 2011. Based on this comparative, Obama Administration did outperform Trump Administration so far into the latter tenure in office (see steeper slope in the trend line for Obama Administration, and flatter slope for Trump Administration.


Draw your own conclusions out of all of this, but there are my top level ones:

  1. Whilst it is other daft to argue whether one Administration was able to ‘create’ more jobs than the other - the comparatives are a bit too sensitive to differences in economic environments and yearly cycles, overall, Obama Administration’s last 28 months in office seem to have been creating comparable number of jobs to the Trump Administration’s first 28 months in office.
  2. Trump Administration has seen more substantial monthly increases than Obama Administration did, but annually, Obama Administration outperformed Trump Administration in this comparative.
  3. In overall terms, jobs creation remained similar across both Administrations to-date, once we adjust for skewed seasonality effects, but Obama Administration appears to have outperformed the Trump Administration over the cycle of jobs expansion.

3/6/19: What Customs and Border Protection Data Says About Illegal Migration and Crime


The Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. agency responsible for border protection, publishes handy stats on its enforcement actions "related to arrests of criminal aliens for Fiscal Years 2016 - 2018, and FY 2019 TD (to date) (October 1, 2018 - April 30, 2019)". Here is a link to the reported data: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-enforcement-statistics/criminal-alien-statistics. A summary of all annual reports available so far is provided in the table below:


Here are some takeaways from the data (subject to many caveats):

  1. There is no 'criminals at the border' crisis anywhere in sight. In fact, total number of recorded crimes committed by illegal aliens has dropped from an average 20,047 in 2015-2016 to 7,208 in 2018-2019 (using annualized figure for 2019 to-date). That is a decline of 64 percent. 
  2. The reductions in crimes are broadly-based. Homicides and manslaughter crimes dropped 85 percent, although the numbers were extremely small to begin with. The second largest drop between 2015-2016 average and 2018-2019 average was recorded in Burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, fraud category, where the decline was 76 percent. The smallest decline of 57 percent was recorded in illegal entry and re-entry category, numbers of which have declined from 9.614 in 2015 to 3,175 in 2019 (annualized).
  3. The reductions did not increase during the Trump Administration crackdown on migration. As the table above shows, largest (in percentage terms) declines took place under the Obama administration in five out of nine categories of crimes, and three largest drops took place during the transitionary period (when Obama policies continued to apply over the longer part of the year). Trump administration can claim the top rate of reductions at most in only one category reductions 'Other' category. In six out of nine categories of crime, Trump administration efforts to reduce migrants-related crime have been responsible for the lowest rates of reductions for any year between 2015 and 2019. 
  4. In terms of overall crimes recorded, Obama's 2015-2016 and 'largely Obama's' 2016-2017 fiscal years recorded crime reductions of 33 percent and 32.9 percent respectively. Trump Administration years (2018 and 2019) generated reductions of 22.9 percent and 26.9 percent, respectively - both significantly lower than Obama administration period records.
In summary, no, there is no emergency of crime at the border (at least not in the CBP data), and no, Trump administration's policies and executive orders are not effective at reducing crime beyond the past historical trends. In fact, they are not even sustaining past trends.