A closer look at the best year for jobs since 1999

Updated
We talked earlier about the surprisingly strong U.S. job market, which created a whopping 321,000 jobs in November, far ahead of expectations. Because month-to-month data can get a little noisy, I thought it’d also be worth looking at the numbers in an annual context.
 
Above is a separate chart showing job growth by year for the four most recent presidential administrations – the blue columns point to the two Democratic administrations (darker blue for overall job growth, lighter blue for private-sector-only growth), and the red columns point to the two Republican administrations (darker red for overall job growth, lighter red for private-sector-only growth).
 
The point is, 2014 isn’t just an encouraging year as compared to other years in the Great Recession era; it’s actually a strong year on its own. Indeed, more jobs have been created this year than in any year of the Bush/Cheney era – or the Bush/Quayle era, for that matter.
 
The Clinton era is, for good reason, generally seen as the best American economic period in recent memory, and the above image certainly helps show why. But take a closer look and you’ll notice this year’s job growth is actually stronger than two of the eight Clinton years.
 
Not too shabby.
 
Also keep in mind, 2014 isn’t over yet. If current trends continue, we’re likely to see strong job growth again in December, which means this year will look even better. It’s already the best year since 1999.
 
I’ll be eager to hear the reaction to the data from congressional Republicans – you know, the “Where are the jobs?” folks – who will probably find the numbers very hard to explain. Remember, as far as GOP lawmakers are concerned, President Obama’s agenda of health care reform, burdensome regulations, and the Affordable Care Act are crushing the domestic economy, stifling the job market like a “wet blanket.”
 
And yet, here we are.
 
Making matters worse for the White House’s critics, today’s job report also showed increased wages and a U6 jobless rate – Fox News’ favorite – at a six-year low.
 
If this were happening under President Romney, the RNC would be organizing parades in his honor.
 
As for those who believe the Obama administration is manipulating the Bureau of Labor Statistics to produce bogus data, I’ll just add that these new job numbers would have been quite useful for Democrats a month ago – before their midterm drubbing.
 

Rachel Maddow Show Charts

A closer look at the best year for jobs since 1999

Updated