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Obama can't quit this terrible piece of labor market spin

Chip Somodevilla

Barack Obama really likes this talking point:

But it's honestly a pretty silly trivia fact. Did you know the unemployment rate has been above 6 percent for the past six months and that hasn't happened since 1994? In fact, the unemployment rate's been above six percent for 67 months which hasn't happened unless you go all the way back to 1987!

Or here's some more trivia. Over the past 12 months, over 2.5 million jobs have been created. But you only need to go back to May of 2006 (or April of that year, or March, or February, or January) to find a better 12-month run that that.

Oh, and about that 1997 talking point. In 1998 and 1999 it was regular to have 12-month spans during which over three million jobs were created. Those were boom years!

Which is just to reiterate the basic truth — economic performance in 2014 has been really boring. Given how bad the lead-up years were, you would hope for a thrilling boom. But we're not getting one. We're getting a slow and steady recovery that, given the context, is pretty disappointing. If you want to cherry-pick factoids you can make it look like a pretty great year or a pretty dismal one, but the truth is it's very meh.

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