Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Years of High Unemployment Ahead at Recovery’s Pace

Despite the official end of the recession in June 2009, the labor market remains stagnant. Employment has fallen by nearly 7 million jobs since the recession began. Unemployment remains above 9 percent. This is the weakest recovery of the post–World War II era. Current policies have not stimulated business hiring. If job creation occurs at the same rate as in the 2003–2007 expansion, unemployment will not return to pre-recession levels until 2018. If job creation continues at the low rate of the past year, unemployment will remain permanently high. Congress needs to act to prevent this by removing federal barriers to business investment and success.

Deep Recession, Weak Recovery

The collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting financial crisis plunged the U.S. economy into a deep recession in 2008. Unemployment rose above 10 percent, and employers shed more than 8 million net jobs.

The recession officially ended in June 2009, but payroll employment remains 6.9 million jobs below its December 2007 peak. The average unemployed worker has been without work for 39.7 weeks (nine months)—the longest since the government began keeping track in 1948. (more)