President Obama likes to say that he inherited a terrible economy but has gotten it headed in the right direction. But the employment figures released today by the federal government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics tell a decidedly different story. During the final month of the 2008-09 recession, 59.4 percent of Americans were employed. More than three years later, only 58.4 percent of Americans are employed. So, in terms of employment, the “recovery” has been noticeably worse than the recession — according to the federal government’s own figures.
To put Obama’s abysmal economic stewardship into further context, the percentage of Americans who are currently employed on his watch barely beats the percentage employed under President Truman (57.7 percent in December 1951 — two months after the premiere of I Love Lucy) and is more than 6 points below the percentage employed under President Clinton (64.5 percent in June 2000). Needless to say, a lot of women have joined the workforce over the past 60 years, yet the employment rate under Obama is more reminiscent of the 1950s than of 2000.