Jan 13, 2009

Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?

The Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) recently asked the same question that Ronald Reagan had asked the American people during the final presidential debate of 1980: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

They used 25 indicators of economic well-being and economic performance and found out that 23 of the 25 indicators are worse in 2008 than they were in 2000!..

...lo and behold the answers:

Economic Indicator
2000 2008
Unemployment rate Image 4.0% 6.1%
Inflation rate Image3.3% 5.4%
Job Growth (preceding 8 years)

Total nonfarm employment Image21.4%4.3%
Private sector employment Image23.6%3.6%
Manufacturing employment
Image2.9%-22.2%
Employment rate (% of population)

All, age 16 and older
Image64.4%62.6%
Men, age 16 and older
Image71.9%69.1%
Women, age 16 and older
Image57.5%56.5%
Real wage growth (preceding 8 years)
Image8.2%1.8%
Minimum wage (July 2008$) Image$6.58$6.55
Family income

Median, 2007$ $61,083Image$61,355
Growth (preceding 8 years)
Image14.7%0.4%
Poverty

Rate (% of population)
Image11.3%12.5%
People in poverty (millions)
Image31.6 37.3
Uninsured (health insurance)

Rate (% of population)
Image14.0% 15.3%
People without insurance (millions) Image38.745.7
Personal savings (% of disposable income) Image2.3%0.6%
College tuition (average per year, 2007$)

Private four-year college Image$19,337 $23,712
Public four-year college
Image$4,221$6,185
Gasoline (gallon, 2008$) Image$2.03$4.09
GDP growth (preceding 8 years) Image34.2%19.6%
Productivity growth (preceding 8 years) 15.9%Image21.9%
Trade balance (% of GDP) Image-3.9% -5.1%
Federal debt (% of GDP) Image57.3%65.5%
Net foreign debt (% of GDP) Image13.6%17.9%

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