It seems to be accepted matter of fact that to be pro-business is to be pro-employment; and that Republican administrations promote pro-business legislation more strongly than Democratic ones. A one page add put out by “A Critical Choice for America PAC” provides a typical example. But is this “common wisdom” true?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps online records of U.S. monthly unemployment rates, and anyone can immediately view there a graph of the unemployment rates since 1948. Alternately a table of monthly data can be downloaded.
The data are startling. Since 1948 there have been 35 years of Republican and 29 years of Democratic administrations. The net affect of all Republican administrations has been to INCREASE unemployment by 11.4%; whereas for Democrats the sum affect has been to DECREASE unemployment by 6.7%. The data can be organized into stronger form. No Democratic administration during the period 1948 to the present has ever caused a net increase in unemployment rate, including the Obama administration. And with ONE exception, no Republican administration has ever caused a net decrease in unemployment. That notable exception occurred during President Reagan’s second term.
The unemployment data clearly show the common wisdom is in dreadful error. However one wants to interpret that, the historical data OVERWHELMINGLY indicate that a Republican bet is not a safe bet if one is hoping for a significant reduction in unemployment.