Barack Obama’s economic recovery doesn’t even reach the level of mediocrity
In his recent speeches on the campaign trail and at official functions, President Obama typically touts the fact that over the past two years, the economy has created more than 4 million new jobs, with more than 1 million in the past six months alone.
At a fundraiser last month, he called this “extraordinary progress.”
But the economic recovery that Obama has presided over has been far from extraordinary. It hasn’t even been ordinary.
In fact, it’s come in well below average on several key indicators compared with the previous 10 economic recoveries, dating back to 1949, according to an IBD analysis of various economic data.
And on several measures, the current recovery — which started five months after Obama took office and is now in its 35th month — is the worst on record since World War II.
Here are the results.
Employment: By this point, the average job growth in the past 10 recoveries was 6.9%. Under Obama, jobs have grown by just 1.9%, according to data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.
Had the current recovery kept pace with just the average recovery over the past 60 years, there would be 6.5 million more people with jobs today, and the unemployment rate would be below 7%, instead of above 8%. That assumes several million more Americans would have joined the workforce. If the current anemic labor force were unchanged, those 6.5 million jobs would drive unemployment to 4%.
GDP growth: The Obama recovery has also performed far worse than average when it comes to GDP growth. After 11 quarters, the economy is still only 6.8% bigger than it was when the recession ended. In contrast, GDP was 16% bigger, on average, by this point in the previous 10 recoveries, the Minneapolis Fed data show.
The current recovery is so slow, in fact, that it just barely beats GDP growth 11 quarters after the 1980 recession ended — even though there was the intervening long and painful 1981-82 recession. And unless GDP shoots up in Q2, the current recovery will soon be the absolute worst since the Great Depression.
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