Friday, September 3, 2010

Comparing US Recessions: A Visual

This from the NY Times Economix blog, charting job changes:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chart by Amanda Cox

"The chart above shows job changes in this recession compared with recent ones, with the black line representing the current downturn. The line has risen since last year, but still has a long way to go before the job market fully recovers to its pre-recession level. Since the downturn began in December 2007, the economy has shed, on net, about 5.5 percent of its nonfarm payroll jobs. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that the working-age population has continued to grow, meaning that if the economy were healthy we should have more jobs today than we had before the recession."

If this was a work of art, it could be called "Economy in Freefall." It also roughly mirrors the sinking stomachs and attendant hopes of the tens of millions of un- or under-employed (and that's just in the States), who watch with baited breath as to which way the skinny black line might sketch out their future.

It is telling that I learned of this graph via a link from the French daily Le Figaro (it was even "selected by the editors"). Sure, it's apocryphal, but it's also indicative that the whole world is watching the US' battle against the recession.

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