A Framework That Provides Clarity

During periods of “low visibility,” confusion reigns: for every indication of one trend, there seems to be a countertrend. The key is to glean from the collective wisdom of reliable leading indicators a clear signal that the economy is headed for a turn.

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Jul 25 2012

What Ails Jobs Growth Happened A Long Time Ago

Although four million net new jobs have been added during the U.S. employment revival, there is near-universal disappointment in the labor market because more than twice as many jobs were lost during the downturn. Moreover, ongoing jobs weakness is in direct contrast to the “V-shaped” recovery from the Great Recession that many expected.

ECRI’s analysis of the patterns of job losses and gains in recessions and recoveries over nearly a century reveals that, contrary to popular belief, the weakness of the current jobs recovery does not stem primarily from recent policy failures or the financial crisis. Rather, our long-term historical perspective reveals massive shifts in the patterns of cyclical revival occurring nearly a quarter-century ago. The implications for the years ahead, in terms of the shape of the business cycle, are likely to be profound, as policymakers struggle to grapple with the dimensions of a problem that they do not yet understand.

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"...sometime at the end of the year or early next year the data will be revised and we'll start to get some clarity about when the recession actually started." More