Political  Calculations
Are Americans better off than they were four years ago?" The various responses that Democratic Party politicians offered to that question dominated the political news headlines this past Labor Day weekend, so we thought we'd take a stab at answering the question today.

If we go by the polls of the most important issues identified by Americans, we find job creation at the top of the list, so we'll use that as our measure in today's post. Here, we'll use the BLS' monthly survey of business establishments in the U.S. to count the number of non-farm payroll jobs in the U.S., which last peaked in January 2008 at the very beginning of the recession (the economy itself peaked in December 2007, which marks the official start of the recession.)

Our chart below then measures the amount of job loss that has occurred since that point in time as a percentage of the maximum number of 8,779,000 non-farm payroll jobs that were lost in the following period of time since, with the horizontal scale showing the number of months either preceding or following the number of payroll jobs in the U.S. hitting bottom:

2007 Recession, percentage of maximum number of jobs lost, through July 2012

Through July 2012, the most recent month for which we have data at this writing, the U.S. economy has recovered just 46% of the non-farm payroll jobs lost since January 2008, as the percentage of the maximum number of payroll jobs lost stands at 54% of the recession's maximum job loss figure.

Since hitting bottom in February 2010, some 7 months after the recession officially ended in June 2009, we find that the rate of job creation during President Obama's administration has been extremely lackluster.


Political Calculations

Political Calculations is a site that develops, applies and presents both established and cutting edge theory to the topics of investing, business and economics.

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