No president since FDR has been re-elected with the unemployment rate above 7.2 percent, as The New York Times notes this morning:
Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.
This interactive line chart, made with Google’s Public Data Explorer, visualizes the seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate since 1948. The rate peaked in 1982 at 10.8 percent. The lowest rate came in 1953: 2.5%.
Here’s the view by state (click the play button to see changes over time):