Sunday, December 26, 2010

Current Labor Market Recovery and Job Creation Are Outpacing the 1990-91 and 2001 Recoveries

According to a new study from the Joint Economic Committee based on employment data through November, "the recovery from the Great Recession continues, and is occurring more quickly than the recoveries from the 2001 and 1990-1991 recessions."

Here's an excerpt:

"Despite the severity of job losses during the Great Recession, the current labor market recovery is outpacing the last two recoveries.  A focus on private-sector job growth during this recovery as compared to the last two recoveries illuminates this point. In all three recoveries, the labor market continued to shed jobs even after economic activity accelerated. However, private sector job growth in the current recovery began substantially sooner than in the recovery from the 1990-1991recession and in the recovery from the 2001 recession. The private sector began adding jobs 16 months after the official end to the Great Recession, in comparison with 18 months after the 1990-1991 recession and 30 months after the 2001 recession (see chart above). Total non-farm job growth during the current recovery has been less steady, but this unevenness is due almost entirely to declines in government-sector employment (see chart below)."

HT: Steve Bartin of The Newsalert Blog


At 12/27/2010 7:42 AM, OpenID American Delight said...

Ok, private sector job growth increased earlier than the last two recessions, but that doesn't make up for the volume of lost jobs, right?

At 12/27/2010 9:43 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

Just goes to show you can splice data to say anything you want. They highlight the % change from the final month of the recession. Of course we should see a higher % change upward after a more severe downturn.

This graph shows a better representation...

At 12/27/2010 9:46 AM, Blogger Xieouyang said...

These figures do not seem to be correct. Private employment (Dept. of Labor series: CES0500000001)peaked in Dec. 2007 at 115.574 million. The Nov. 2010 figure stands at 108.278 million- thus we are still over 6% below the peak.

At 12/27/2010 9:48 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Sorry Mark but I don't buy this. The US government has thrown more than $1 trillion into the pot and we still do not have a true recovery in the labour market. All those jobs that the feds 'saved' when they gave the states huge amounts of cash are now in jeopardy as the cash has run out and the states are on the edge of bankruptcy. The private sector hiring is still weak and the only way to paint a positive picture about what is going on is to torture the data.

With oil near $100 and all kinds of commodities exploding in price we have some very strong headwinds that cannot be overcome very easily. As costs go up there will be less disposable income for consumers to spend and less need for labour in sectors that are dependent on strong consumer spending. The housing market seems to be ready to turn down once again as the overhang makes the building of new projects unnecessary. The U-6 data shows unemployment at over 17% and if we use the same measures of unemployment as we did during Carter's time in office we would be looking at more than 23% unemployed.

At 12/27/2010 1:51 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from VangeIV: "Sorry Mark but I don't buy this."

I agree. You also have to consider the reliability of the source or your data. The Feds have been manipulating the data for 40 years to make things look the way they want them to look.

At 12/27/2010 4:36 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I agree. You also have to consider the reliability of the source or your data. The Feds have been manipulating the data for 40 years to make things look the way they want them to look.

Many on this blog have pointed out to Mark the great work done by John Williams at but so far he prefers the more optimistic reports of BLS. Williams shows that when we add the long-term discouraged workers (defined out of official existence in 1994) to the U-6 numbers we get an unemployment rate of more than 20%. But Mark keeps using the U-3 headline number.

At 12/27/2010 6:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The Feds have been manipulating the data for 40 years to make things look the way they want them to look"...

Hmmm, is that when the federal government decided to delete the numbers for the cost of food and energy when trying to figure an inflation number geoih?

ObamaCare will kill low end job growth

Mr. Obama has denied the cost burden on business from his health-care program, but business is aware that it is likely to be large. How large? That's part of the uncertainty that employers face if they hire additional labor.

The president asks for cap and trade. That's more cost and more uncertainty. Who will be forced to pay? What will it do to costs here compared to foreign producers? We should not expect businesses to invest in new, export-led growth when uncertainty about future costs is so large

At 12/27/2010 11:01 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


i agree with your interpretation of that chart. the data series mark references seems to occlude more than it reveals.

it's a bad metric for a huge number of reasons, especially as it does not take the severity of the drop into account or examine job creation as a percentage of losses, nor does it consider population size or % of population in the workforce, a number that still sits are at very low level.

also, unlike the calc risk chart, it is dependent upon recession dating, which, given changes in CPI calculation (and therefore real GDP reporting) means that the current period is not comparable to prior ones regardless of which CPI you find more persuasive.

At 12/27/2010 11:13 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

juandos said...

How much of that is politically driven, and how much of that is numerically driven (i.e. it wouldn't matter who was in office)? A purely numerically driven problem would be able to withstand tests of changing political conditions. A mixed situation where numerically and politically driven conditions both exist, cannot. What we have is a willingness to use a scapegoat law or condition to justify withholding work or corrupting the wish for it (by the nature of a staffing agency).

That, and there are some people in the comments section of the Examiner thinking that the CEO is afraid of being honest with the public because of government retaliation. If their message is so honest and so clear, then it could be given at any time to any person without fear of retaliation.

As for Harper's, er Murdoch's WSJ attack piece, they also don't like taking the heat (via their FDR reference). They do a scattershot approach by trying to attack everywhere with no real depth.

As far as I'm concerned, a second coming of FDR is necessary. Just as the first one was necessary to tell purposefully uncooperating businesses to knock it off. In any way possible. Either they can be part of the recovery or they need to understand the consequences of getting in the way of one. They are not exalted above regular individuals and should not receive any preference or favor if they decide to work against recovery.

The message to business should be that they should either step up to the table and help with the recovery(where they would benefit from the end product), or expect that they be rightfully taken to task for getting in the way.

At 12/28/2010 8:57 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

this chart centers the data tyler referenced on peak job losses.

it clearly shows that this is the slowest recovery of employment in post was history and also shows why the 2001 recession is a poor comparison.

2001 was quite shallow with job losses peaking at 2% vs 6% this time.

even so, by this point in the recovery, 2001 had made up 25% of the increase in unemployment, whereas we have not even gotten 1/3 of that much recovery this time.

At 12/29/2010 4:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

sethstorm you're merely a leech and we need another FDR like we needed the first progressive, commie loving loser...

At 1/03/2011 8:57 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> As far as I'm concerned, a second coming of FDR is necessary. Just as the first one was necessary

In two sentences, sethstorm reveals what a blatantly ignorant fool he is.

Since FDR's entire actual RW economic policy was pretty much identical to that implemented by Hoover prior to FDR's win, it seems rather blatantly obvious that FDR was neither necessary (by the lack of any real change) or desirable (by the lack of any real improvement in the economy)*

In addition, of course, we discover... no, wait, no we don't... Seth, please explain:
How does blowing a trillion and a half dollars, vastly increasing federal spending MANDATES, vastly increasing socialism, doubling the federal deficit (which took 215 years to produce) in only four years....

HOW is it these things will help the economy, again?

* This just in, seth:
Al Gore isn't doing anything to stop Global Warming, either.


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