Jobless Recovery?

Jobless? Yes. Recovery? No. As many mainstream economists gloat that the Great Recession is far behind us, a closer look reveals something very frightening.

That, coupled with optimistic labor market revisions for May and June, led some economists to declare that happy days may finally, if slowly, be getting here again. In this spirit, the British investment bank, Barclays Capital Research, concluded in a report, “June is likely to have been the last month of the US recession.

Looking back, though, this was a case of celebrating short-term shifts in the data without checking to see if the fundamentals have changed. These economists, reacting to a monthly unemployment figure of 9.4 percent, were speaking too soon. One month’s unemployment report is not very much to base such declarations on. There are many below-the-surface f actors that should give us pause.

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