By the numbers: 'Are you better off?'

9.4 million Americans were unemployed in August of 2008; 12.6 million Americans were unemployed in August 2012.

Story highlights

  • 9.4 million -- Number of people unemployed in August 2008
  • 12.6 million -- Number of people unemployed in August 2012
  • $4.09 -- Average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in July 2008
  • $3.45 -- Average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in July 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, channeling Ronald Reagan, asked the American public at the Republican convention, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

We put that question to the test and here's what we found - by the numbers:

9.4 million -- Number of people unemployed in August 2008.

12.6 million -- Number of people unemployed in August 2012.

6.1% - U.S. unemployment rate in August 2008.

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8.1% - U.S. unemployment rate in August 2012.

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    3.4 million -- Number of job openings in the U.S. as of July 31, 2008.

    3.7 million -- Number of job openings in the U.S. as of July 31, 2012.

    1.6 million -- Number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) as of August 2008.

    5 million -- Number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) as of August 2012.

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    5.7 million -- Number of people working part-time, involuntarily, in August 2008.

    8 million -- Number of people working part-time, involuntarily, in August 2012.

    Prices and Finance

    $3.96 -- Average price for a gallon of milk in July 2008.

    $3.42 -- Average price for a gallon of milk in July 2012.

    $4.09 - Average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in July 2008.

    $3.45 -- Average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in July 2012.

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    $16,953 -- The value of 100 shares of Apple stock on August 29, 2008.

    $66,524 -- The value of 100 shares of Apple stock on August 31, 2012.

    Housing

    68.1% -- U.S. homeownership rate as of June 2008.

    65.5% -- U.S. homeownership rate as of June 2012.

    $196,600 -- Median price of an existing single family home in 2008.

    $188,100 -- Median price of an existing single family home in July 2012.

    6.48% -- Interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage in August 2008.

    3.60% -- Interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage in August 2012.