Private sector jobs looking much stronger

In the previous post, we talked about the new monthly jobs report, but in keeping with tradition, here’s a slightly different chart — one showing just the private sector job market.

Overall, the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December, but as has been the case for a long while, it’s the private sector that continues to fare better. Last month, businesses added 212,000 jobs, making it one of the best months since the recession began.

For the 2011 calendar year, BLS data shows the U.S. private sector has now added 1.89 million jobs in 2011, well ahead of last year’s private-sector total of 1.2 million, and the best year for businesses since 2005. Since March 2010, American businesses have created 3.13 million jobs. (In 2008, the private sector lost 3.8 million jobs, and in 2009, the private sector lost 5 million jobs.)

And with that, here’s a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.

Just for fun, let’s add one more homemade chart, showing annual job losses/gains in the private sector over the last two decades. Red columns point to years under Republican administrations, blue columns point to job totals under Democratic administrations. (Note: 2011 was the best year for private-sector job growth since 2005, and the second best since 1999.)

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.