Obama's jobs record: Where are we now?July 24, 2013: 10:31 AM ET
The job market has gained back some ground since the Great Recession, but we still haven't recovered fully.
That's the message we expect to hear from President Obama today, as he returns to Knox College in Illinois to kick off a series of campaign-style stump speeches on the economy. The speaking circuit comes ahead of a looming battle over the budget and debt ceiling.
Obama was last at Knox College in 2005, shortly after being elected to the Senate. At that time, the unemployment rate was 5%.
This time around, the jobless rate is 7.6%, with nearly 12 million Americans unemployed.
We'll probably hear the President stress how far we've come since his inauguration.
Sure, the private sector has been adding jobs since March 2010 – 40 months in total. But the government has simultaneously been cutting jobs since 2009.
Including both the private and public sector, the economy has added 6.6 million jobs since the labor market hit bottom in February 2010. That more than makes up for the 4.3 million jobs lost in Obama's first year in office. In that sense, Obama has been a net job creator. The economy has 2.3 million more jobs than it did back then.
But the labor market still has yet to recoup the jobs that were lost the year before Obama was inaugurated.
And, once you also factor in population growth, some economists say we still need more than 8 million jobs to get back to a 2007-esque job market.
If hiring continues at its current rate, that could take until at least 2017.