Stronger US Economy Since 1st Obama State Of Union - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Stronger US Economy Since 1st Obama State Of Union

Posted: Updated:
Washington, D.C. -

(AP) As President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, he presides over an economy much healthier than the one he inherited four years ago. Yet growth remains slow and unemployment high.

In early 2009, the U.S. economy was in the midst of a full-blown panic sparked by the collapse of a housing bubble. Companies were slashing jobs. The unemployment rate was surging. Auto sales in January 2009 had reached a 26-year low.

"You don't need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis," Obama said in his first State of the Union address in February 2009.

The numbers were frightening.

Employers cut 794,000 jobs in January 2009 and 4.5 million from November 2008 through April 2009.

Home prices plunged 19 percent in the 12 months that ended in January 2009. Eventually, they fell by a third overall before bottoming in late 2011.

Perhaps the clearest barometer of the pain was soaring unemployment. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in January 2009, just below the current 7.9 percent. But only two months later, in March 2009, it was nearly a full point higher — 8.7 percent. By October, it had peaked at 10 percent.

The recovery has been agonizingly slow. Consumers have been wary about spending after piling up debt in the mid-2000s. Local governments, squeezed by tight budgets, have cut 560,000 jobs in four years. And until recently, an anemic housing market discouraged the home construction that in past economic recoveries had powered growth.

Now, companies are hiring modestly but steadily. Employers added an average of 181,000 jobs a month in 2012 and 175,000 in 2011. Still, unemployment remains far higher than the 5 percent to 6 percent that economists regard as normal.

But home prices are finally rebounding as sales and housing starts have recovered. And Americans are buying cars again.

"During the last four years, the economy has stabilized," says economist Sung Won Sohn of California State University Channel Islands.

What has happened to the economy since 2009 likely would have happened whoever occupied the White House, Sohn says.

"We tend to give a lot of credit or blame (for the economy) to the incumbent president," he says. "The fact of the matter is, the U.S. economy is like an aircraft carrier. You can turn it around but not on a dime."

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Aid Flows Into Iraq Shiite Town After Siege Broken, Airstrikes

    Aid Flows Into Iraq Shiite Town After Siege Broken, Airstrikes

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:11:17 GMT
    Iraq's outgoing prime minister travelled to a small northern Shiite town Monday, praising its residents for fending off attacks by Sunni militants who had besieged them for more than two months until security forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke the siege a day earlier.
    Iraq's outgoing prime minister travelled to a small northern Shiite town Monday, praising its residents for fending off attacks by Sunni militants who had besieged them for more than two months until security forces backed by Iran-allied Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes broke the siege a day earlier.
  • Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-08-29 15:11:19 GMT
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
  • Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:40 GMT
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices