We’ve been here before

Date posted: July 11, 2011

No one’s happy about the slow rate of progress in the job market. Although jobs have been added and the unemployment rate has dropped in the last year, the numbers are still not back to where they were before the recession. Is this the worst jobs recovery in recent memory? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

“Actually  … it’s a pattern that’s very similar to what we saw after the last two recessions, those being in 2001 and 1991. In both of those recessions, the unemployment rate in the country was virtually the same two years after the economy began growing again.

“In fact in the 2001 recession, or the aftermath of the 2001 recession, the jobless rate was stuck at about 6 percent. In the aftermath of the 1991 recession, it was stuck at 7 percent. I think what is different today, of course, is that we’re stuck at a somewhat higher rate — not a somewhat higher rate — a definitely higher rate of around 9 percent. But I think what lessons of these last three recession is, is that job recoveries appear to be very, very slow. And that appears to be the new normal.”

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