Friday, June 3, 2011

This Time IS Different... Employment Edition

Not different from past financial crises, but certainly different from recessions over the previous 40 years.

The first chart should look similar to other charts presented on the blogosphere. It shows the change in the total number of employed during past recessions. The key takeaway... this time is worse, but things are improving (albeit slowly).

The next chart shows how much worse. It takes the same data as the chart above, but shows the relative performance of this recession as compared to past recessions. For example, as compared to the last recession we are now trailing the employment situation by about 6.5% (we currently have 4.5% less jobs than our previous peak, while at this point following the 2001 recession we had 2.1% more jobs).

The concerning thing is that things seem to be getting worse, even though it "should be" easier to improve following a severe downturn (hiring back workers is typically easier than creating new jobs).

Seems more and more like a structural issue that cannot be addressed by simply trying to stimulate aggregate demand.

Source: BLS


  1. Would like to see the first chart for the 1930s!
    The recent recession was the result of pre-emptive Fed policy that thought it saw deflation and caused a housing crisis at the same time that much fiscal policy leverage had been used up with tax cuts during a period of good economic growth.
    Message to the policy makers: please don't try to help us.

  2. hi,
    In this recission comparision change in employment july month is started with down graph but after some week it is grow and never down...
    very good groth in july month...

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