Weekly Initial Claims for Unemployment

While Republican politicians have charged that Obama and his policies have been responsible for the high levels of unemployment in the US, the increase was well underway in the Bush Presidency.  The weekly figure for initial claims for unemployment began its rise in late 2007, reached its peak two months after Obama’s inauguration, and has fallen since.  The levels are still unacceptably high, and are not yet at levels consistent with what they would need to be full employment (new claims will never be zero, as there is always labor turnover), but this is a consequence of the insufficient scale of the stimulus program and other such policies rather than the nature of the policies themselves.