Unemployment: Promise vs. Reality

The preliminary job numbers are in for October; the unemployment rate is 9%. It has been close to or above 9% for 32 consecutive months, compared with 7.6% when President Obama took office. There are many metrics by which we can measure the failure of the Obama administration, but this is one of the most fundamental.

President Obama sold the stimulus plan on the basis that it would keep unemployment from rising as high as 8%. His economic advisers prepared this chart, which we reproduced here and elsewhere. It contrasted the predicted unemployment rate with and without passage of the stimulus bill. Of course, the reality has turned out to be much worse then either projection:

President Obama assured us that by now, with the beneficent influence of the Democrats’ stimulus plan, unemployment would decline to 6.5%. It is now obvious to pretty much everyone that to get anywhere near that number of Americans back to work will require new policies and a new administration in Washington.

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