Year 5 of an Historic Jobs Crisis Begins

Another month of anemic job growth as the weakest post-recession job market ever recorded grinds on.

Employers added 157,000 jobs in January, fewer than needed to keep up with growth in the working age population and replace the jobs lost during the recession.   The unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8% to 7.9% and has hovered slightly above or below 8% for a year.  To put that in perspective consider that the average rate in 2007, the last year before the recession was 4.6%.

At the White House Press Secretary Carney excused anemic job growth with the same overwrought language we’ve heard ever month for two years:

When this President took office in 2009 we were… in economic free fall. We were losing – we were hemorrhaging jobs at something like three quarters of a million jobs per month.  And, the hole dug by that recession in jobs terms was more than eight and one-half million.

Actually 8.7 million jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009.  Because the recovery has been so anemic 40% of those lost jobs still have not been replaced.  If job growth continues at the January pace it will take until September 2014 just to replace the jobs lost in 2008 and 2009.  But even then the crisis won’t be over because the adult, working age population will have grown by almost 12 million people and two-thirds of them will need jobs.

But more importantly, as the chart above shows every previous period of job loss resolved to a new period of job growth, no matter who was President or what the government did.  But in 2013 we continue to endure the worst post-recession job market ever recorded since the labor Department began it’s monthly survey of employers 74 years ago.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Ancient War Horse on February 1st, 2013

    Year 5 and still no real improvement. How did this bunch get reelected?

  2. Aaron Cutter on February 2nd, 2013

    How does Obama keep getting away with this? Who are the idiots who voted for this guy? Month after month, year after year the same thing, no jobs.

    I haven’t had a raise since January 2008. My wife hasn’t had a raise since July 2008. Neither of us expect a raise this year or next year.

    BUT WE’RE NOT COMPLAINING!

    We’re thankful we can still feed our kids. Thankful we still have a house. Our cars are 7 and 12 years old but I’m thankful we can still afford repairs. We don’t even think about a new car.

    Just the other day we made a list of all the people we know outside our jobs. We listed our families, friends and neighbors. Turns out none of them are as fortunate as we are. All the others have had long periods of unemployment, lost homes, lost cars, gone through bankruptcy, etc. Half our pre-recession neighbors are gone. They were foreclosed.

    So what does that say about this wretched Obama economy? People like us who are just hanging on with no hope of getting ahead are among the most fortunate and thankful we haven’t suffered as much as everyone else we know?

    It’s been four years, people. You can’t keep putting your head in the sand and blaming Bush! Voters better wake up in time for the next election in two years, if it’s not too late!