This morning Gallup released a survey pointing to the fact that only twenty-three percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country and 75% are dissatisfied.
The current level of satisfaction is now similar to what it was in early August 1992 (17%), prior to George H.W. Bush's re-election defeat. It is significantly lower than what it was in mid-August 1996 (38%) and mid-August 2004 (44%), years in which incumbents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, were re-elected.
The reason for the dissatisfaction is described in a piece by the usually liberal Associated Press which points to the fact that despite the fact the progressives believe Obama's policies are working; this is "the feeblest economic recovery since the Great Depression."
Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower.This how the "Obama recovery" has compared to other recessions:
More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting, too: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation....The AP compared nine economic recoveries since the end of World War II that lasted at least three years. A 10th recovery that ran from 1945 to 1948 was not included because the statistics from that period aren't comprehensive, although the available data show that hiring was robust. There were two short-lived recoveries — 24 months and 12 months — after the recessions of 1957-58 and 1980.
- Economic Growth-America's gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — grew 6.8 percent from the April-June quarter of 2009 through the same quarter this year, the slowest in the first three years of a postwar recovery. GDP grew an average of 15.5 percent in the first three years of the eight other comebacks analyzed.
- Consumer Spending-Consumer spending has grown just 6.5 percent since the recession ended, feeblest in a postwar recovery. In the first three years of previous recoveries, spending rose an average of nearly 14 percent.
- Jobs- The economy shed a staggering 8.8 million jobs during and shortly after the recession. Since employment hit bottom, the economy has created just over 4 million jobs. So the new hiring has replaced 46 percent of the lost jobs, by far the worst performance since World War II. In the previous eight recoveries, the economy had regained more than 350 percent of the jobs lost, on average.
- Personal Income -Usually, workers' pay rises as the economy picks up momentum after a recession. Not this time. Employers don't have to be generous in a weak job market because most workers don't have anywhere to go. As a result, pay raises haven't kept up with even modest levels of inflation. Earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers — a category that covers about 80 percent of the private, nonfarm workforce — have risen just over 6.2 percent since June 2009. Consumer prices have risen nearly 7.2 percent. Adjusted for inflation, wages have fallen 0.8 percent. In the previous five recoveries —the records go back only to 1964 — real wages had gone up an average 1.5 percent at this point.
There is plenty more detail in the AP article, which can be found here.