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Employment Recovery: Great Recession, Great Depression, and other Financial Crises

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As a follow-up to my earlier posts comparing employment recoveries from recent recessions, here is a graph comparing the recent recovery to other financial crises.

Even though it took 6+ years to exceed the previous employment peak, this is actually better than most recoveries from a financial crisis. (Note: this recovery was during a period of declining participation – partially due to demographics – and that makes this milestone even better).

From Josh Lehner today: U.S. Jobs Are Back … To Pre-Recession Levels

With the May jobs report, the U.S. economy is now back to pre-recession peak levels of employment. While this is the longest post WWII recovery the U.S. has experienced — by a good margin — it is important to keep in mind that financial crises are different. When comparing the Great Recession against other advanced economies’ financial crises in recent decades, the current U.S. cycle has outperformed in terms of employment, even as most other measures of financial crises were just as bad — home prices, stock prices, GDP per capita, government debt and the like.

Financial Crisis EmploymentThis graph from Lehner shows employment recoveries for several different financial crises. 

The U.S. Great Recession is in red.

The Great Depression is in dark blue.


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