The Republican Party wants us to believe that the unemployment rate of 8.2 percent reflects negatively on President Barack Obama’s economic policies. My question is: compared to what?
The euro area’s current unemployment is 11 percent, with major countries like Spain sitting at 24 percent unemployment. Larger trading partners, such as France and India, are home to unemployment rates well above 9 percent, with smaller countries such as Greece, Italy and Egypt at double digit unemployment.
In 2009 our unemployment during the current recession reached 9.9 percent. At that time the United Kingdom was at 8.1 percent. Today our unemployment has gone down to 8.2 percent, and the U.K. has stayed relatively stable at 8.2 percent, whereas the rest of the euro area has only gotten worse.
If Obama is doing a poor job, then what are we comparing him to? Obama was at least able to reverse the trend in unemployment during the worst worldwide recession in our nation’s history — something that Europe has failed to do thus far.