This is a recovery?: Comparing the percent of the population not in the Labor Force during the Reagan and Obama Recoveries

Looking at these graphs gives one an understanding about how misleading the simple unemployment numbers are. People are only counted as unemployed as long as they are actively looking for work. During Reagan the unemployment rate fell dramatically from 10.8% (a higher rate than the so-called "Great Recession") to 7.3% in two years. During the Obama "recovery," the unemployment rate has gone down from 9.5% to 9.1%, but this much smaller drop is more illusory for the obvious reason shown in the above graphs.

While the working age eligible population keeps rising, jobs have been flat.

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