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You probably recognize this by-now-iconic chart below that Bill McBride at Calculated Risk created several years ago to compare all the post-World War II recessions. I post it, with Bill's permission, in my monthly analysis of the government's jobs report. The right hand tip of the bottom line on that chart is us, right now, at 63 months since the Great Recession began in December 2007. It illustrates how long it's taking to get back to where we were back then.
Business Insider emails the updated chart every month, calling it the scariest jobs chart ever." But as Jacob Goldstein at NPR's "Planet Money" says it "isn't scary enough."

The chart cuts off when employment gets back to its previous peak. But, because of population growth, getting back to where we were five years ago isn't enough. To get back to full employment, we need to have millions more jobs than we had then.

This led us to wonder: What would Scariest Jobs Chart Ever look like if you compared the past five years with comparable periods for all of the other postwar recessions. How much worse is it this time?

Here's the answer:

In previous postwar recoveries, the number of jobs was about 7 percent above its previous peak by this point, on average.

In other words, if this had been a typical recession and recovery, the U.S. economy would now have roughly 10 million more jobs than it did at the previous peak. In fact, there are now three million fewer jobs.

That's why, when better-than-expected jobs reports like Friday's come out, it's always good not to forget just how bad things got and, for so many Americans, just how bad they still are.

A lot of people lost their homes. Spent all their savings. Exhausted their unemployment benefits. Graduated and couldn't find a job right away—a delay that analysts say will have an negative impact on their wages from now until they retire. Took a job exactly like the one they were laid off from but that pays less and provides fewer benefits than before. Retired early because they couldn't find a job and needed that Social Security check to survive, which as a result will now be smaller for the rest of their lives than it would have been had they been able to wait until full benefits kicked in.

Twelve million Americans are officially unemployed. Eight million are working part-time jobs not out of preference, but because they can't get the full-time jobs they need. Another 6.8 million are no longer in the labor force but say they want a job. All told, 26.8 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed.

Even if the same 236,000 new jobs were created each month from now on, it would take (depending on how you count) from today until somewhere between October 2017 and July 2019 to recover where we would have been if the recession had not occurred.

One big problem even with that 2017 date: The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. October 2017 is eight years, four months from then. Since the end of World War II, the longest period between the end of one recession and the beginning of the next was just seven years and nine months.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007A Pardon For Libby:

It's only been two days since Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, and already there is a rising chorus from White House apologists for George Bush to pardon Scooter Libby.
From the right came a Wednesday editorial in The Wall Street Journal, which thundered that "the time for a pardon is now," a point of view shared by The Weekly Standard, National Review and conservative admirers and friends of Mr. Libby. Many of the calls for his pardon demanded immediate action, instead of a wait for appeals to wend their way through the courts.
But setting aside, for now, the blatant hypocrisy of these former defenders of "the rule of law," have any of them considered the implications of George Bush offering, and Scooter Libby accepting, a Presidential pardon?

Tweet of the Day:

Former Rep. Dan Burton cursed, cried when GOP wanted to stop his Clinton investigation, book says http://t.co/...
@marybschneider via Tweet Button



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin on the jobs report, filibusters, and means testing Social Security vs. lifting its tax caps. Of course, there was more #GunFAIL news. And you can't discuss both guns & jobs news without Meteor Blades. Next: economics, reading Laura Clawson on productivity vs. real wages, Krugman on Republican predictions of doom from the Obama stimulus, and an old Daily Kos piece reviewing Republican predictions of doom from the Clinton stimulus. And Medicare. And Social Security. Also: Earth's temps at a 4,000 year high! And a weekend thinker about immigration and the abandoned capitalist virtue of the free movement of labor.


High Impact Posts. Top Comments. 0vernight News Digest.

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