Friday, February 01, 2013

Jobs Report!

In January the economy added a net of 157,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 to 7.9 percent. Just another blah report, right?

Well, no because as is often the case, the news is buried in the revisions to previous months:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +161,000 to +247,000, and the change for December was revised from +155,000 to +196,000.

247,000 is a pretty good monthly jobs number and 196,000 is at least semi-respectable.

But this continues to be a horrible "recovery" for employment. We've never really gotten the historically typical run of really big job growth numbers that push employment sharply back up after the recessionary decline, as this chart from Calculated Risk shows:

(clic the pic for an even more sluggish image)

You can see the strongly V shaped pattern of many previous recessions and recoveries and also that the 2001 recession recovery, while anemic, was still much faster than this one.

At this rate we have around 2 more years before employment will recover it's pre-recession peak level.


Anonymous said...

Also interesting is that since 1980 the recoveries are getting slower and slower.

Unknown said...

Why was this chart never seen on any Republican campaign commercials or any of the others?

Thomas W said...

Looking at the graphs, this recession is recovering at about the same rate as the 2001 recession (not slower). However, the recovery started from a much deper trough.

The slowing of recovery rates is interesting, and seems a trend, though the other trend of recent recessions (other than the current one) is that they are not as severe. Historically one might argue that deeper recessions recover faster (excluding the current one) or that recoveries have become slower. I'm not sure any is a real effect or just making the numbers fit the hypothesis.