This is “dead last compared to six other recession recoveries since 1960,” Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore points out. They averaged a robust 4.0% while the Reagan era recovery averaged a “sizzling” 4.8% over six years. That means the Obama recovery lost $1.8 trillion (in constant 2009 money) that would have been pumped into the economy under an average recovery, and$2.8 trillion under a Reagan-style rebound, Moore says, citing a congressional Joint Economic Committee analysis.
But job growth is “strong,” the White House insists, averaging 280,000 each of the last three months of 2015 (and a mere 151,000 last month). This deceptive claim hides the fact that 94 million Americans over age 16 are not working. The horrid 62.6% labor force participation rate remains the worst in decades.
Under an average post-1960 recovery, 5 million more Americans would be working today than actually are; under a Reagan recovery, 12 million more would be working now. Moreover, even an average recovery would have given every American an after-tax annual income $3,339 higher than he or she is actually getting today, the JEC calculates.