I was slowly skimming the Washington Post this morning when some numbers caught my eye in the GOP convention tab.


  • July 2008 5.8 percent
  • July 2012 8.3 percent

Unemployment, 2008-2012

This pretty much sums up the campaign, folks. As Ronald Reagan put it, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”For a lot of people, the answer is a resounding no. And if you dig into the BLS data, which I’ve been doing in recent months, the unemployment picture gets even more alarming.

For the long-term jobless, which the government defines as more than six months of looking for work, the jobless rate remains stubbornly north of 40 percent. For those fortunate enough to find another job, more than half were being paid less than their previous position.

The economy is emphatically not getting better. Wonder how many of the 12.8 million unemployed Americans vote?

Sandy Johnson is a journalist and a gardener, equally passionate about both. She lives in Alexandria, VA.  Visit her on her blog, Grassroots & Gardening.