The Campaign Spot

Obama Term May Never See Bush-Era Levels of Unemployment

I hope the White House is being conservative in their economic forecasts, having paid the price for being too optimistic earlier. But if they’re accurate, they’re forecasting that this will be a one-term presidency:

The economy is projected to add jobs this year at a pace too sluggish to make much of a dent in unemployment, according to a new White House forecast that suggests President Obama’s advisers expect the jobless problem to be a fact of life throughout his term. The nation will add an average of 95,000 jobs a month this year, according to the forecast, a bit below the number that economists think needs to be generated just to keep up with population growth. The unemployment rate is projected to come down quite slowly after that, averaging 8.2 percent in 2012, when Obama will be up for reelection.

In the last full month of the Bush presidency, the national unemployment rate was 7.1 percent. That was the highest national rate during his eight years in office. Twice in 2003 it reached 6.5 percent.

“Blame Bush” is already tired; it will sound nonsensical if the unemployment rate is higher for the entirety of Obama’s presidency than it was at any point under Bush.

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