Job Loss Chart

Above is a chart (from The Business Insider) of the percentage of job losses during recessions starting from peak employment.  Here are some of my observations from the chart:

  • While other recessions have started off with a more rapid loss of jobs, the current recession line is practically a plummet without even a lateral change, or leveling off.  Even the ‘deepest’ recession (1948) did not take a straight path to its lowest level.
  • This recession has almost reached the same percentage of job loss as the ‘deepest’ recession of 1948.
  • The longest recession (2001 –  the colors are hard to distinguish) since WWII took 46-47 months to regain the lost jobs but the loss only dipped to a low of -2.0%.  This recession has already lasted 18 months and the job loss has gone to almost -5.0%.  So at roughly a third of the time of the longest recession, we are at over twice the job loss number.
  • The one bit of good news (call it hope) is that the ‘deepest’ recession took only 5 months to regain the lost jobs.  Let’s hope that some miraculous confluence of events will manifest itself through our political (eh hem) leaders so that we can experience a similar 5-month recovery of jobs.

The laughter you hear over the thought of our political leaders making meaningful changes to economic policies is nervous laughter.  The likelihood of those leaders stumbling upon an effective economic policy is next to none, but the need for them to find it (and find it soon) is great.

The 2010 elections are 15 months away.  That puts us only two thirds of the way through the longest recession.  There will still be time.