Though the perception of Carter is that the economy was poor, particularly in his last year in office, the reality is that the largest increase in jobs (as a percentage) per presidential term in the last 40 years occurred during Carter’s Presidency. The number of jobs increased 11% during his term, compared to 10% during Reagan’s second term and 8.5% and 9.5% during Clinton’s two terms.
And the unemployment rate and the inflation rate were both going DOWN by the time Reagan was elected. The Iran mess, particularly the Iran hostage situation, and Reagan’s “charisma” were what doomed Carter. As usual, however, the Republicans were good at PAINTING Carter as presiding over a bad economy, but a look at the statistics shows otherwise: