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Recovery and jobs – Obama v. Reagan – Who had a better record?

Welcome to VoteFacts.  During the presidential debate, Mitt Romney had this to say when comparing recession, recovery, and jobs between President Obama and President Reagan.  Here is what he said,

"You got an example of when it looked better?  Yeah.  In the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8 percent, between that period, the end of that recession, and the equivalent period of time today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs."

(View video in its entirety by dragging start button backward.  Quote begins at 54 min  44 sec)

Hmmmm, let's check out these facts.  Here is a CBO graph showing the current and prior recessions and how unemployment rebounded.  The vertical purple lines reflect recessionary periods.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.47.08 PM

CBO, Page 9

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows us that between November of 1982, when that recession unemployment rate peaked, and 35 months later, the equivalent time period from the unemployment rate peak for the most recent recession shows that there were 9.44 million jobs gained under the Reagan years, and 4.446 under Obama.  Again, this is looking at the peak unemployment rates and how many jobs were gained back 35 months after each peak.  Here is the BLS data:       BLS

Reagan Unemployment Rates

Reagan Employment Gains

Obama unemployment rates

Obama Employment Gains

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.20.19 PM

For Obama, from peak unemployment in October 2009 to 35 months later in September of 2012, jobs went from 129976 to 134422, for an addition of 4.446 million.   That's it, that is the BLS data.  Take your info and click on your answer to the fact or fiction question to your right.





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Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as the Obama recovery. Fact or Fiction?
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Voting Key


Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
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Fiction = 9% - 0% True