It seems that on this Labor Day weekend, the jobless recovery is here to stay. 14 million people remain unemployed. The unemployment rate remains at 9.1%. Politics aside, should we be surprised? It seems that many signs pointed to such a recovery starting with previous recessions and slow job creation since 2000.
- It took roughly 6 months for employment to recover to its pre-recession level after each postwar recession through the 1980s.
- It took 15 months after the 1990-91 recession and 39 months after the 2001 recession.
- Between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. posted a weaker record of job creation than during any decade since the Great Depression.
- Total employment increased by 9.2 million, or 7%, less than 1/2 the rate of increase in preceding decades.
- At the current pace of job creation, it will take a minimum of 5 years for employment to recover. (That calculation is based on total net job creation of 117,000 jobs per month.) More and more forecasts look to 2018 or later until we return to full employment.
- The unemployment rate for adults 25 years and over with a bachelor’s degree and higher remains constant at 4.4%, below the baseline of full employment.
- For adults over 25 with less than a high school education, the unemployment rate is 14.3; with only a high school diploma, the rate is 10% with not much light at the end of the tunnel. For teenagers between 16 and 19 years old, the rate nears 25%.
- This year, the share of young people who were employed in July was 48.8 percent, the lowest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute, Bureau of Labor Statistics