Steve Benen kindly presents compelling evidence to squish “the stimulus failed, this President failed” nonsense on jobs and unemployment:
Despite last week’s annual revisions, the same metrics still apply: when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.
And with that, here’s the chart — which reflects the revised, seasonably-adjusted data — showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007. (Remember, unlike the monthly jobs chart, a lower number is good news.) For context, I’ve added an arrow to show the point at which President Obama’s Recovery Act began spending money.
Stimulus happens, unemployment claims go down, and they’ve been decreasing steadily now for 3 years. The problem is it took Bush roughly one year to cause the damage, and the expectation that President Obama could fix it by any means in that short of a time frame was ridiculous. But even by November 2010 things were remarkably better by comparison. Would have been nice if he and the Democrats in Congress who passed the stimulus had gotten a little credit then from the voters.
Would be even better if the voters gave them credit this November, yes?