Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Obama By the Numbers - Unemployment

Originally I wanted to put together a rather lengthy and detailed economic analysis of Obama's performance thus far against other presidencies.  The only problem was that this would take a lot of hard work and effort and if there's anything I learned in my 20's it is that hard work and effort rarely pays off.  Ergo, I decided to do more of a series where we take one individual economic statistic at a time and compare the Affirmative Action President against the performance of other, obviously lesser, presidents.

Before we do this, however, I should point out that such comparisons are actually somewhat flawed in that chalking up the performance of the entire economy to one man and his affiliate political party is foolish.  It is really the policies that are implemented by congress, the president, not to mention the actions of the American people that ultimately determine the economic success and growth of a nation.

For example both Reagan and Obama inherited outlandishly bad recessions.

Bill Clinton, though a democrat, implemented more conservative policies than Bush Jr because of a Republican congress.

And the "Great Recession" can squarely be blamed on incompetent bankers and a galactically stupid and ignorant American population rather than Bogeyman Bush.

Therefore, remember to take these statistics with a pinch of salt.  Be intellectually honest and realize it is the overall policies and financial intelligence of the American public that determines our economic success.  However, if at anytime you get into a presidential performance debate with a leftist about "Oh yeah!  Well Bush caused AIDS and eats baby kittens!" then by all means feel free to use these statistics.

Today's statistic is unemployment.

Though I could have gone back longer, I didn't feel the need because unemployment pre-Carter was actually not that bad (well, actually it was under Ford, but I don't want too convoluted of a graph).  Regardless, since the data series has been kept since 1948, Obama, thus far, has the worst unemployment average out of all of our presidents.  In all fairness, like Reagan, he inherited a crippling recession that largely wasn't his fault, however, unlike Reagan, his recovery...well...isn't a recovery.  Reagan was able to get unemployment reduced faster than Obama and it was through job creation, not people leaving the labor force, that did it (as GDP figures when we visit it will show).

So far, based on the NUMBERS (I know, those damn factual mathy statisticy things!) the left's great hope is dead last place.

I'm sure when we look at GDP, though, things will turn around for America's first golf-like handicapped presidency.


Carnivore said...

Isn't this an apples and oranges comparison since the way the unemployment number is calculated was changed (under Clinton?). The numbers are actually worse now.

Anonymous said...

Under Reagan's term he still had a manufacturing base he could crank back up not so for Obama thanks to both political parties and corporate globalization. Enjoy the decline.

RobertW said...

You may be talking to cross purposes re: the Obama administration. Previous Presidents wanted to decrease unemployment by increasing labor participation. Did it occur to any of them to try to fudge the unemployment numbers by discounting people who have given up? Impossible to say at this point, of course. But if no one has a job and everyone has given up looking for a job, then by Obama's reckoning, we have an unemployment rate of zero. My question is: does Obama actually want to increase the labor participation rate, or does it serve his agenda to to decease it? We're all assuming that any sane person would want the LP rate high, but maybe Obama is on a completely different page? What we are considering a failure he is considering a success? Just askin'.

PeppermintPanda said...

I think a more relevant statistic would be the average employment to population ratio; or the change in employment to population ratio.

Kristophr said...

Your unemployment numbers have been buggered by the people defending O-dumbo. puts the current rate at 23%.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that when Carter came to power the US population was 220 million, while currently it is 317 million. I don't know the figures for how much of them were part of the workforce, but we shouldn't forget that population also changed meanwhile.

SM777 said...

Also, you can add the policies of the privately owned federal reserve banks as an influence on the performance of the economy.

In addition, concerning the unemployed figures you display, are they from the BS, errr, I mean the "BLS"? Did you use the U3 or the U6?

RobertW said...

That is a valid point - in addition automation has had an impact as well. But don't forget - as the population increases so does the number of people needing a product or service. So all in all, shouldn't it balance out?

liberranter said...

My question is: does Obama actually want to increase the labor participation rate, or does it serve his agenda to to decease it? 

No and yes, respectively, to your question. The Obamunist himself has not-so-privately admitted as much on several recent occassions.