The national unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in December 2011, its lowest level since February 2009. It has fallen 0.7% since June.
Although a good part of this decrease can be attributed to people dropping out of the labor market perception is nine-tenths reality. If the unemployment rate continues to trend downward it will, of course, improve President Obama’s re-election prospects in November.
However, economists are expecting slower growth in the first quarter of 2012 which will likely bring about an increase in the unemployment numbers. In which case, the Obama Administration will simply continue to say they inherited a bad economy. When in doubt blame Bush. So much for that new era of responsibility.