Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Unemployment really is falling

The usual unemployment number which is cited is the U3 number. Essentially to be included you have to not have a job, and have been looking for a job actively. Why this number is so popular is beyond me, the U6 value is a whole lot more meaningful. Essentially it does include anyone who does not have a full time job who would take one if it was offered.

This graph makes a few things pretty clear: First, it has been more than twenty years since unemployment has been as bad as the past four years. This really is a crisis by any measure. Second, Bush is at least as much to blame as Obama, When Bush entered office the U6 rate was 7.1, when he left office it was 14.2. So unemployment actually doubled under Bush. Under Obama unemployment hit a peak of 17.2 during his first year, and has slowly fallen since then. Today it is down to 14.5, the lowest it has been since his first month of office. Of course many will point out that this recovery is pathetically slow, and they are right. Obama failed to fix a bad economy, which is far better than breaking a perfectly good one.

If anything like the past few months continues though, Obama is a shoe in. While it took three years longer than I expected, it really does look like unemployment is finally coming back down to where it should be.

No comments: