Tale of a Trend: Unemployment Rates and Presidents

The Obama team has long argued that when it comes to unemployment, it is the trend, not the actual number, that will be important.

And the trend, at least for now, looks pretty good (Jan. '11 to Jan. '12)

Now compare this with unemployment trend lines for other presidents who have been successfully re-elected:

Reagan ('83-'84)

Bush 43 ('03-'04)

And those that have lost re-election:

Bush 41 ('91-'92)

Carter ('79-'80)

Data courtesy of Bureau of Labor Statistics

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