Recovery? What Recovery?

If it feels like we’re still in a recession, this chart, published on the blog of Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw, explains why. Cutting through  the terminological differences of “unemployed,” “underemployed,” “discouraged workers” and the rest, the graph expresses the number of employed people in the economy as a percentage of of the total workforce.

Bottom line: From an employment perspective, there has been no recovery. Employment growth has done no more than track population growth. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why this may be.

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  1. reed fawell Avatar
    reed fawell

    Oh, My! But I thought Our President had created by himself alone just for us recently well over FOUR MILLION NEW JOBS. That’s what his campaign spokeswoman Debbie Wasserman Whatshername told us only yesterday.

  2. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Somewhat misleading.
    A recession is defined as two or more quarters of consistent negative economic growth. A recovery is consistent positive growth — which is what the U.S. has had since 2009.
    This ratio shows weak jobs creation since the Bush Recession, something that all sides, including Obama, admit.
    Ok, we know jobs growth has been anemic. Not exactly reading it first on Bacon’s Rebellion.

  3. larryg Avatar

    does anyone think Romney would know what to do?

    there is no question that unemployment sucks but many economic indicators such as rail shipments, year-over-year restaurant sales, housing markets, etc are up.

    What I’d like to hear from Romney and the critics is what to do instead and no I’m not buying the generic ‘cut regulations” or “blame it on ObamaCare” shtick.

    I think we have entered a new era where automation and part time/overtime is cheaper than full time employees.

    The only full time employees will be those to serve a companies baseline sales. Anything beyond that will be purely prospective until the increases sales “stick” and become the new baseline.

    You cannot blame employers for doing this – but I do not think Mr. Romney has a solution to it either – but I’ll remain open-minded enough to hear something with some intelligence in it from him.

    It just could be that a guy with his business experience knows exactly what to do but as long as he blathers the GOP philosophical boiler plate… no dice.

    I’m looking for a bold leader not someone who is going to play prevent defense in the 2nd quarter with the game tied.

  4. reed fawell Avatar
    reed fawell

    Problem is, Larry, we only got two players in the game. One who might fix it, and one who obviously can’t based on his record of several years trying. I’ll try the guy who might fix it, given the chance, every time.

  5. larryg Avatar

    …. well no question there is a problem:

    ” A new Fox News poll released Wednesday shows that by a 14 percentage-point margin, more voters think Barack Obama (41 percent) has a clear plan to improve the economy than think Mitt Romney does (27 percent). Still, a 53-percent majority says Obama doesn’t have a plan, and a 55-percent majority says Romney doesn’t.”

    I think we know what Obama wants to do . I’m not convinced at all I know what Romney wants to do.

    At this point, I’m not sure what Obama should have done that Romney says he will do – that will boot the economy.

    Romney has no plan on health care either other than repeal ObamaCare.

    Romney sounds a lot like the GOP on he economy and health care which is basically cut taxes, repeal health care and “trust me”.

    sorry, we trusted the GOP for 8 years and they blew up the budget and the economy with cockamamie supply-side theories and a refusal to do deal substantiative with health care costs.

    I need more that a Bush re-do.

  6. The job market sucks for everyone.

    College Graduates –

    And, most disturbing of all, PhD’s –

    It doesn’t matter who you elect because neither one of these guys has a clue what to do, IMO. Until there is a viable third party alternative (at all levels) all were going to get is more extremists from both parties.

  7. larryg Avatar

    I’m not sure I have seen a proposal from ANYONE that offers a legitimate promise. I do not believe that “cutting taxes” in and of itself will do anything for jobs.

    A business owner is simply not going to hire additional people unless he actually needs them to produce more product/services in response to increased demand. and the taxes don’t affect that as long as he and his competitors are on the same level playing field for taxes.

    And businesses are not going to hire people they don’t need regardless of the taxes. That argument is the most bizarre that essentially says that businesses will hire extra people they don’t need if taxes are low.

    no businessman worth his salt is going to hire extra people that are not needed no matter what the tax breaks are if it increases the payroll he must meet. That whole idea is GOP lunacy.

    More than that, we simply cannot pay for the govt we current have much less the debt we owe but cutting taxes further since we are already at a point where taxes are lower than they’ve been in 50 years.

    I’ve become convinced that the GOP is the “dumb” party. No matter what question you ask – the answer is cut taxes.

    If we cut taxes and things are still going to hell in a handbasket – they shrug their shoulders.

    I’m not advocating for tax increases. I just don’t see how we balance the budget and pay down the debt without paying for it.

    We’ve tripled the DOD budget and don’t want to cut it but we also don’t want to pay for it except by cutting entitlements….

    If the GOP actually got their way – how long would they keep their offices?

    I think the GOP is on a totally different track than most Americans even though I acknowledge they’ve got about half the voters. A good number of the voters they currently have simply do not truly understand what the GOP would actually do but once they find out they’re going to have none of it.

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