Over the last 56 months – since Barack Obama became president in January 2009 --unemployment has dropped 0.5%, from a rate of 7.8% in January 2009 down to 7.3% in August 2013, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
During those 56 months, the unemployment rate rose substantially to a high of 10% in October 2009 and stayed in the high 9% range for 2010 and much of 2011. In January 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.3%. It crept down to 7.8% in December 2012, exactly what it was when Obama was inaugurated (and George W. Bush left office).
That rate has stayed in the mid-7% range so far in 2013 and is at 7.3% for August, according to the BLS data.
The unemployment rate has not fallen below 7.3% in the last 5-plus years.
The seasonally adjusted BLS data, released today, is for all U.S. workers ages 16 and older.