A Closer Look

The Big Job Gap

” The recovery is real, but it’s still really far from the recovery we need” writes Matthew O’Brien in The Scariest Jobs Chart, Private Sector Edition. (Choosen excerpts by JMM to follow)

That’s been the consistent message of the past three years, with consistent job growth that hasn’t been near enough to end our jobs crisis much before the end of the decade.

But that might be changing. Now, there have certainly been plenty of false starts before, but this time might really be different. Housing is finally showing signs of life and austerity is mostly over. In October, this added up to 255,000 new jobs, including revisions to past months, and that despite us shedding 13,000 more public sector jobs. The self-inflicted economic wound that is firing cops and teachers has added a degree of difficulty to our already daunting jobs crisis, but that degree of difficulty is disappearing. As Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times points out, government jobs fell by 97,000 in 2009; 230,000 in 2010; 258,000 in 2011; before turning positive to the tune of 20,000 more jobs in 2012. Consider that government employment increased by 259,000 during the Reagan recovery of 1983-84 and by 316,000 during the post-tech bubble recovery of 2002-04.

In other words, our disappointing recovery isn’t as disappointing if just look at the private sector, though only quite. I took this chart from Bill McBride of Calculated Risk — the one Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider calls “the scariest jobs chart ever” — and I subtracted out government jobs. That leaves us with a picture of how far the private sector has fallen during every postwar recession and how long it’s taken to get back to its pre-recession peak. The depressing reality is our private sector jobs hole is still deeper than it ever was during half of all other recessions, even after the past three years of recovery. (Note: This measures the percent of private sector jobs lost from the previous private sector peak).

via The Scariest Jobs Chart, Private Sector Edition – Business – The Atlantic.

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