When President Obama said in the SOTU that his administration had “broken the back” of the recession, I thought:   Who’re you gonna believe, me or your own cheatin’ eyes?

Memo to POTUS: The recession is still going strong. Unemployment is 9.4, Mr. President.

“John Edwards famously promised that if John Kerry was elected, Christopher Reeve would rise and walk. Well, judging from the president’s comment, we’re witnessing something else with a ‘broken back’ look pretty vigorous, durable, and tough,” writes Jim Garaghty on National Review Online.

Garaghty unearthed some interesting figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:    

In December 2010, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 35 states and the District of Columbia and increased in 15 states. The largest over-the-month employment decreases were in New York (-22,800), Minnesota (-22,400), Florida (-17,900), and Georgia (-17,500). The largest over-the-month per-centage decreases in employment occurred in Minnesota (-0.8 percent), Alabama and Hawaii (-0.7 percent each), and Delaware and Georgia (-0.5 percent each). The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas (+20,000) and South Carolina (+9,000). The largest over-the-month percentage increases in employment were in Idaho (+0.6 percent), Montana and South Carolina (+0.5 percent each), and Alaska (+0.4 percent). Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 42 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 8 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment was reported in the District of Columbia (+3.2 percent), followed by Texas (+2.3 percent), New Hampshire (+2.1 per-cent), North Dakota (+1.7 percent), and Massachusetts (+1.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Nevada (-1.5 percent), followed by New Jersey (-0.8 percent), Missouri (-0.6 per-cent), and Rhode Island (-0.5 percent).

If this is what a broken recession looks like, God help us.

Glad the president is optimistic, but now we need policies that will increase payrolls.