The average unemployment rate in 1980 was 7.2%. Uuemployment went as high as 11% in 1982 and the average unemployment rates for 1982 and 1983 were 9.7% and 9.6%, respectively. In fact, the unemployment rate when he was reelected in a landslide in 1984 was 7.4%, Unemployment didn’t drop below 7% until after he raised taxes for most people.
The lowest unemployment rate of his presidency was 5.2% in January 1989, as he was leaving office. Not bad, but not exactly something to write home to mother about. Republicans at the time even tried to suggest that 5% constituted “full employment,” which flies in the face of every economic theory out there.
Saint Reagan’s job numbes are actually pathetic. He ranks as the third-worst among all post-war presidents, just ahead of both Bushes. The number of jobs grew by 2.1% per year under Reagan; about half the job growth rate under Eisenhower, just over half the rate under Johnson and Clinton, and a full percentage point BELOW Jimmy Carter.
Yes, folks, Jimmy Carter created more jobs than Saint Reagan, even though Reagan is credited with a “boom.”
Saint Reagan also deserves no credit for getting a handle on inflation. Carter started that process, with Paul Volcker. Volcker was hired by Carter, not Reagan. In fact, Reagan essentially “fired” Volcker, by denying him a third term, and put Alan Greenspan in charge. Ahem.
When you talk about growth rates, Reagan’s don’t come close to Clinton’s, or even Obama’s. In fact, the GDP growth rate of 4.1% under Clinton in 1994, the year he lost Congress, was higher than the GDP growth rate during Ronald Reagan’s entire presidency.
Reagan wasn’t even great for business. According to figures by Dun & Bradstreet, the number of failed businesses soared under Reagan; the number was actually more than FOUR TIMES anything seen while Carter was president.