In a recent letter, Walt Newton uses "facts" on monthly unemployment rates to prove "Obama's failures" and Trump's success. He states unemployment was at 4.9 percent when Obama took office and the same when he left. Under Trump, Newton claims unemployment is "now at the lowest it’s ever been."
The reality is that Obama took over during the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent and rising fast, peaking at 10 percent in October of Obama's first year. From there it steadily declined, reaching as low as 4.6 percent just before Obama left office. So far, Trump has not done anything to cause this trend to reverse itself, and last month the rate stood at 4.1 percent. I hope the rate continues to decline and, if it does, we may see "the lowest rate it has been ever," but we are not there yet. In fact, since 1950, the monthly unemployment rate has been as low as 2.5 percent, and has been lower than 4.1 percent over 100 times.
Reasonable minds may disagree over who should get the credit, or the blame, for the economy, but let's at least start with our facts right.
Rick Sherman, Saratoga Springs