To answer that, we can start with the number of jobs that have been created coming out of past recessions, and compare to the number of jobs Obama's "recovery" has given us.
It ain't pretty, says IDB:
In his recent speeches on the campaign trail and at official functions, President Obama typically touts the fact that over the past two years, the economy has created more than 4 million new jobs, with more than 1 million in the past six months alone.
At a fundraiser last month, he called this "extraordinary progress."
But the economic recovery that Obama has presided over has been far from extraordinary. It hasn't even been ordinary.
In fact, it's come in well below average on several key indicators compared with the previous 10 economic recoveries, dating back to 1949, according to an IBD analysis of various economic data.
And on several measures, the current recovery - which started five months after Obama took office and is now in its 35th month - is the worst on record since World War II.
Here are the results.
Had the current recovery kept pace with just the average recovery over the past 60 years, there would be 6.5 million more people with jobs today, and the unemployment rate would be below 7%, instead of above 8%. That assumes several million more Americans would have joined the workforce. If the current anemic labor force were unchanged, those 6.5 million jobs would drive unemployment to 4%.
The one thing about economic issues during an election is that people decide for themselves, based on their own personal financial situation, how good or bad the economy is. If they, or their brothers, sisters, uncles and other relations are having a problem getting a job, the unemployment rate becomes meaningless and they will likely vote based on their personal perceptions of the economy.
This is why Obama is in trouble. Nobody is buying his rhetoric about "recovery." There is too much uncertainty, too much actual unemployment for the president to get away with it. With so many workers leaving the workforce, and so many more experiencing long term unemployment, it's no wonder the president is trying to frame issues as a rich vs. poor scenario rather than talk about the actual state of the nation's economy.