The Recovery??


What is most apparent is that the definition of a recovery varies depending on who is in power.


Edward Lazear: Slow Recovery or Failed Agenda? 


Mr. Romney may also point out that there hasn't been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President Bush left office. Moreover, the unemployment rate, which we were told would not exceed 8% if we enacted Mr. Obama's stimulus package (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), has never fallen below 8% during his presidency. The rate has averaged 9.2% since February 2009.


Still, the president will argue that he has turned things around. In the quarter during which he took office, the economy lost 2.3 million jobs and the economy as a whole was shrinking at almost a 7% annual rate. By summer 2009, the economy was growing again. The employment level hit bottom in early 2010 and started moving up, regaining, as noted in the Obama-Biden graph, more than 3.9 million jobs by the end of this February.


The GDP growth rate in late 2009 was almost 4%, giving hope of a rebound. But by spring 2010, it slipped to 2.2%, below the long-term average growth rate for the economy. Over the last six quarters, it has been crawling along at an average 1.9% growth rate, with the most recent quarter logging in at just 1.5%.


Job growth has also slowed dramatically. From December 2011 through February 2012, jobs increased at an average rate of 252,000 per month. During the last three months, that average has fallen to 75,000. With hiring as slow as this, the unemployment rate, which has risen from its low of 8.1% this April, will continue to rise. Unfortunately, the economy is creating jobs more slowly than the population and labor force are growing.


Worse for the president, the number of monthly hires remains almost one million below where it was when the labor market was healthy in 2006 and 2007. Mr. Romney can also point out that fewer workers are being hired now than during the average recession month between 2007 and 2009.



Is there a recovery or just a promise of a recovery?