This graph shows the change in private sector payroll jobs from when each president took office until the end of their term(s). President George H.W. Bush only served one term, and President Obama has just started his second term.
Mr. G.W. Bush (red) took office following the bursting of the stock market bubble, and left during the bursting of the housing bubble. Mr Obama (blue) took office during the financial crisis and great recession. There was also a significant recession in the early ’80s right after Mr. Reagan (yellow) took office.
There was a recession towards the end of President G.H.W. Bush (purple) term, and Mr Clinton (light blue) served for eight years without a recession.