Recently I had a discussion with an old friend who is an ardent George W. Bush hater and, as a result, will be voting for President Obama again, no matter what.
We were discussing the economy and I happened to mention that the average unemployment rate was much lower during Bush’s two terms despite the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, at that moment, I was not sure of the exact figures. So after a quick search, I found this handy chart that you can send to your unemployed or under-unemployed friends or any George W. Bush haters in general and ask them exactly what part of Bush’s unemployment rate history they still hate.
They might discover they actually miss President Bush after they read this chart from the Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here are the key findings from this chart to share with your friends.
When President Bush took office in January, 2001 the unemployment rate was 4.2%.
After the jolt of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the highest the unemployment rate rose was 6.3% in June, 2003.
This rate seems remarkably low by today’s economic standards.
Then the economy calmed down and actually grew, dropping the unemployment rate to the mid 5% range, where it stayed for the next two years.
In fact, the rate was 5.4% in November, 2004 when Bush was reelected.
Really good news came in December, 2005 when the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% and stayed in the 4% range straight through to November, 2007.
Then in December, 2007 it went to 5.0%, rose slowly and really shot up in August, 2008 to 6.1%. When the economy tanked, the rate blew right through the 6% range ending December, 2008 at 7.3%.
Rising still in January, 2009 when President Obama took office, the rate was 7.8%.
It saw a high of 10% in October, 2009 and now in July, 2012 the rate has come down to 8.2% where it seems to be stuck in what I call, “the new normal” for this president.
The takeaway here is the highest unemployment rate during President Bush’s entire eight years in office was his last at 7.8%, compared to President Obama’s low of 8.1%.
It is ironic how Obama still loves to blame the “economy he inherited” from Bush, when at this point in the presidential election campaign, Obama would love to have the 7.8% unemployment rate he did in fact inherit from Bush in January, 2009 or better yet the 6.8% from November, 2008 when he was elected.
As a follow up, I will email this chart to my dear old friend from college and look forward to some of his snarky comments in return. But since he lives in California, his vote for Obama will not affect the election outcome. It’s my Bush hating friends in Ohio and Virginia I really need to work on. And if you have some as well, please forward them this chart.
See you all at the Red State gathering next weekend. My first!