By Raj Vardhman | February 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

Top 30 Job Growth Statistics

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data on job growth by year as part of its Employment Situation Summary. This is the total number of new jobs created during a single year. Self-employed jobs are excluded from this number. 


It is every economy’s goal for job growth numbers to be as high as possible. Overall, this number indicates economic growth and a stronger labor market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if this figure is over 100,000, it has a positive steady impact on economic growth. 

In case you’re wondering:

Job growth statistics are calculated by Total Nonfarm Payrolls, which are most often used. It is the total number of people in one country that are being paid for work, excluding farming.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in with some… 

Remarkable Job Growth Facts and Stats (Editor’s Pick)

  • 2.7 million new jobs were created in 2018.
  • 135,000 new jobs were added in the private sector in September 2019.
  • 3.5% was the unemployment rate for September 2019, the lowest since December 1969.
  • 8.9 million jobs created were by President Obama by the end of 2016.
  • The total job growth was 2.153 million jobs in 2017 under President Trump.
  • 3.7% is the current unemployment rate, the lowest in more than 50 years.

1. On average, 161,000 jobs were added monthly in 2019.

According to the monthly job growth chart by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth averaged just over 160,000 per month in 2019, which is significantly less than the 223,000 in 2018. Despite this, healthcare, along with professional and business services, continues trending.

2. 39,000 new jobs in healthcare were added in September 2019

If we focus more on job growth through various industries in the US, the addition of close to 40,000 new jobs in the healthcare sector brought the total to 423,000 new jobs in 2019. Professional and business services had created 34,000 new jobs per month in 2019, which is lower than the average for 2018 of 47,000 new jobs per month. 

The government sector had created another 22,000 new jobs, bringing the yearly total to 147,000. Likewise, in the transportation and warehousing business, the number of new jobs increased by 16,000, whereas the leisure and hospitality industry created an additional 21,000 new jobs, which is similar to the 2018 average, despite job growth rates dropping with each quarter in 2019.

3. 11,000 fewer jobs were added in the retail trade in September 2019.

According to the job growth by month stats for 2019, retail trade had 11,000 fewer jobs in September, which brings the yearly total to 78,000 fewer jobs. In September, there was an increase in 9,000 new jobs in the food and beverage industry, as well as 14,000 fewer jobs in the clothing and clothing accessories department.

4. 2.7 million new jobs were created in 2018. 

This means 223,000 new jobs were created on average each month. This monthly job growth average is bigger than the corresponding figure for 2017, which stood at 179,000, as well as 2016’s average of 193,000 new jobs per month. However, it’s slightly less than the 227,000 new jobs per month created in 2015. 

5. 330,000 new jobs were added in February 2018.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report for job growth by month in 2018, February was the month with the biggest job growth, followed by August with 282,000 new jobs. The smallest job growth was noted in September with just 108,000 new jobs, along with January with 171,000 new jobs. Since the labor market is close to full employment, the decrease in the number of new jobs is not surprising.

6. 154,000 new jobs in professional and business services were created in 2018.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics job growth chart also shows that, in 2018, the biggest job growth was seen in the professional and business services industry with 561,000 new jobs. The education and health services sector added another 350,000 new jobs. This is a rising trend in 2019 that is expected to continue its ongoing momentum into 2020. The construction and the leisure and hospitality business also experienced employment growth. Basically, almost every major industry saw job growth levels in 2018 similar to those for the previous year. 

7. 264,000 new jobs in the manufacturing industry were created in 2018.

According to US job growth data for 2018, the manufacturing sector added another 264,000 new jobs in 2018, a significant increase compared to 2017’s 190,000 new jobs. Likewise, 2018’s numbers are also greater than those for 2019 when the number of available jobs was on the decline. Job growth in the retail department in 2018 was practically non-existent. Nevertheless, this is still good news since retail had lost around 88,000 jobs in 2017, due to a surge in ecommerce. It is interesting to note that in 2018 retail had the most erratic changes in the number of new jobs being created on a monthly basis compared to other industries.

8. 11.7 million jobs have been created since May 2014.

If we look at how many jobs were created in 2018, we will notice that there is a steady increase in job growth since May 2014. During this period, close to 12 million jobs have been added. The longest streak lasted for nearly four years, which is almost double the current one. During that period, some 22.7 million jobs were created. 

If we recall, 2018 had its fair share of economic challenges. There were catastrophic wildfires, two major hurricanes, an extremely tight labor market, and a turbulent trade environment (especially trade relations with China). Taking all of this into consideration, job growth in 2018 was pretty good. 

Apart from the public sector, we have the private sector, which encompasses for-profit businesses not operated or owned by the government. The third branch is the voluntary sector consisting of nonprofit organizations and charities. In a free market (capitalist) society, the private sector often makes up a large portion of the economy.

9. 126,616 new jobs were added in the private sector in 2018.

The number of jobs in the private sector has been on a steady increase ever since the 1940s. According to statistics regarding private-sector job creation by year, the number of new jobs created in the private sector in 2018 shows a slight increase from the 124,259 new jobs that were created back in 2017. 

10. 100,000+ new jobs in the private sector have been created annually since 1995.

As we previously mentioned, the rise is stable and continuous, adding more than 100,000 jobs per year since 1995. A decrease in the number of new jobs can be found only during economic recessions; this usually lasts as long as the recession itself. 

11. 135,000 new jobs in the private sector were created in September 2019.

According to data on US job growth in the private sector by month (graph), 135,000 new jobs were created in September 2019, following the slowing tempo of hiring which coincides with the broader economy. Small businesses created 30,000 new jobs; mid-sized firms created 39,000 new jobs; lastly, big companies added another 67,000 jobs to the list. As you can see, small businesses were extremely cautious with new job openings; partially because they lacked trust in the stability of the current economy. 

The US government takes a huge interest in these job creation statistics, which are used to gain a better understanding of the current employment climate and help plan actions for increasing the number of employed people, as well as lowering the unemployment rate. 

12. 128.57 million people were employed in 2018.

If we take a look at the employment numbers by year, the figure for 2018 shows a considerable rise compared to 2017, when it stood at 125.97 million. This figure has been on a continuous rise since 2009 when the country was still battling the global economic crisis. 

13. 158.27 million people were employed in September 2019.

What’s more, the number has been increasing steadily since April when there was a slight decrease in the number of employed individuals. 

14. The unemployment rate in 2018 was 3.9%.

Another incredibly useful statistic is the unemployment rate by year. According to the data, the unemployment rate for 2018 was sitting at around 3.9%, following a slow and steady drop since the great economic crisis of 2009. Historically speaking, the record unemployment rate was recorded at the height of the Great Depression in 1933, when it hit a staggering 24.9%. This significantly affected the decade average, which was constantly above 14%. 

15. 2009 was the last year with a two-digit unemployment rate.

1982 was the last recorded year that had a single-digit unemployment rate. Until 2009 the unemployment rate was above 10%. The lowest ever unemployment rate was back in 1944 when it was only 1.2%. 

16. The unemployment rate for September 2019 was 3.5%, the lowest since December 1969.

According to the monthly unemployment rate statistics for 2019, the unemployment rate in September was the lowest in 50 years. There was a steady trend of decline throughout the whole year, from 4.0% in January 2019. It seems like the country is well on its way to accomplish full employment, with some people arguing that full employment has practically already been achieved and that the currently unemployed people are just between jobs.

17. 6.9% of workers were discouraged workers or underemployed in September 2019

If we look at job growth statistics in 2019 more closely, we will notice that there are also discouraged workers and the underemployed. The figure for September 2019 was 0.3% lower than for 2018. This decrease might not seem much (at first glance), but it’s the lowest rate in almost 19 years, being just 0.1% shy of the all-time record low.

One of the biggest factors for voters is the ability of the President of the United States to create jobs. The number of jobs created is often used as an argument in political debates and campaigns. So, judging a presidential term often boils down to which president created the most jobs. 

18. A record 12,296 million new jobs were created during President Clinton’s first term in 1993–1997.

Additionally, there was an average annual increase of 2.85%. Surprisingly, Clinton’s administration from 1997–2001 takes second place with 11,324 million new jobs and an average increase of 2.33%. Besides these two terms, only Reagan’s second term in office (1985–1989), Carter’s term (1977–1981), and Obama’s second term (2013–2017) saw more than 10,000 million new jobs being created, according to annual job growth statistics by presidential term. 

19. 6,400 million fewer jobs during Hoover’s administration (1929–1933), the only presidential term with job losses in history.

There was only one presidential term with a negative number of jobs created — Herbert Hoover’s term (1929–1933) with a loss of some 6,400 million jobs and an average annual decrease of 5.41%. However, upon closer inspection, we will notice that this was the time of the Great Depression, so the decreased number of jobs shouldn’t come as a surprise.

20. 5% was the annual average increase in jobs created during FranklinRoosevelt’s third term in office (1941–1945).

On the other hand, if we look at job creation by year stats during presidential terms, the biggest average annual increase took place during FDR’s third and final term in office (1941–1945), a staggering 5%. This number has never been achieved again. World War 2 witnessed the period with the highest employment rate in US history due to a great need for an industry that could supply the army with the necessary weapons and resources. Roosevelt’s first term (1933–1937), which saw the launch of the New Deal, takes second place, with an average annual increase of 4.97%.

So, the answer to the question “which president created the most jobs” is Clinton — if we look at the total number of jobs created — and Roosevelt in regards to the largest average annual increase.

21. 8.9 million jobs created by President Obama by the end of 2016.

As previously stated, the current economic climate, huge world events, and natural catastrophes can drastically influence the number of jobs created during a presidential term. So, for example, by the end of December 2016, President Obama had created 8.9 million jobs, which is a 6.2% increase. These Obama job creation stats are good since 152.3 million people were employed by the end of his term, compared to 143.4 million employed by the end of the Bush administration. 

22. 8.5 million jobs lost as a consequence of the 2008 economic crisis.

Still, if we take into consideration that the US economy lost around 8.5 million jobs as a result of the 2008 economic crisis — and that the number continued to drop until the end of 2009 — President Obama is the third-biggest job creator in terms of the total number of people employed; seeing how he created some 16 million jobs, which is an 11.6% increase.

23. 153.34 million employed by the end of Obama’s second term.

Shifting our focus to job growth statistics by year during Obama’s terms, we can see that there was a continual growth of the total number of employed people every year during Obama’s two terms. The number of employed individuals in 2010 — after the economic crisis was over — was 139.08 million. At the end of Obama’s second term in 2017, 153.34 million people were employed. 

24. 534,000 new jobs were created in May 2010, which was the biggest monthly increase during Obama’s tenure, according to monthly employment growth statistics.

After the 2008 economic crisis, this month marked the biggest step forward in overcoming the new economic challenges and stabilizing the US economy. This was accomplished even though June 2010 saw the biggest decrease in the total number of employed people, losing some 136,000 new jobs. Consequently, it was encouraging to see that the number of employed continued to rise almost every month.

25. On average, 42,000 fewer jobs per month were added from April 2018 to March 2019.

If we look at Trump’s job creation stats, the number of new jobs added decreased by 501,000 from April 2018 to March 2019. That is almost 42,000 fewer jobs per month, even though in 2018 Trump cut down taxes to improve the business climate. Trump’s total for 2018 was 2.303 million, coming short of Obama’s results for 2014 and 2016. 

So, how many jobs has Trump created?

26. In total, 2,153 million jobs were created in 2017 under Trump’s administration, according to the job growth by year stats.

From August 2018 to August 2019, 1.782 million jobs were created. In 2019, job growth totaled 1.141 million; based on certain predictions, it reached 1.711 million in total jobs created by the end of 2019. 

27. 172,000 new jobs per month in the first 31 months of Trump’s term; 5.345 million new jobs in total

If we take the US job growth by year graph and break it down into months, for the first 31 months of Trump’s term in office, a total of 5.345 million new jobs were created, which amounts to 172,000 jobs per month – the result of his tax cuts no doubt. For comparison, the last 31 months of Obama’s term in office saw an increase of 6.838  million jobs or 221,000 jobs on average per month, which was 48,000 jobs more per month than Trump.  

28. 250,000 or more jobs added on average each month in 2014.

In 2015, this number was more around 227,000.

29. The current unemployment rate 3.7%, the lowest for the past 50 years.

On the other hand, the unemployment rate of 3.7% is the lowest in more than 50 years, according to job growth statistics by year. This number goes in favor of Trump’s administration, proving that their economic policies had good results. Despite this, there were some remarks coming from economists that the unemployment rate was on a steady decline since 2011; so it is not certain whether the economic policies of Trump’s administration can take all the credit for the current unemployment rate. 


We can see that the job growth under Trump so far looks pretty similar to the final years of Obama’s presidential term, even though Trump told voters that he would have even better results as president. Still, there was a slight increase in 2018 — after-tax cuts — but the current trend is decreasing due to employers being uneasy about trade relations with China, although, according to his statement, Trump seems to be happy with the results.

Overall, it is essential for us to continue to monitor job growth by year, by month, and by presidential term in order to define the current economic climate more precisely, prepare for future affirmative actions, as well as to get a closer grip on the president’s new policies and the current direction of the US economy. 


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  2. CNBC
  3. FRED
  4. Statista
  5. Forbes
  6. The Balance

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