Nearly a year and half ago, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared an official end to the worst recession since the end of WWII. Unfortunately, in its haste, the bureau forgot to tell the economy.On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor released a surprisingly weak jobs report, fueling concerns that the nation’s dreadful employment situation may not improve for quite some time. To make matters worse, the new data suggests that we may be experiencing the longest, deepest recession in a generation.
According to the chart below-often called “the scariest jobs chart ever” by Calculated Risk’s Henry Blodget-the percentage decline in jobs from peak employment since the end of WII has never been greater and in only one other instance, the recession of 2001, has the job market failed to rebound over such an extended period.
When asked recently about the nation’s ongoing unemployment situation, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the nation’s top central banker, said that “it could four, five years before we are back to a more normal unemployment rate.”
Taken together, these snippets and conjecture should send a strong signal to the American public that it is time to switch policy directions and adopt an approach that promotes growth and stability-not unlike the system in place here in Texas.
– James Quintero