Advancing a Free Society

The Numbers Game With Russ Roberts: A Novel Perspective From Ed Leamer

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why has the current recovery from the Great Recession been so mediocre? Ed Leamer of UCLA points out that the last three recessions have all had mediocre recoveries of both output and employment. His explanation is that changes in the manufacturing sector have changed the pattern of layoffs, recalls and hiring during recessions and recoveries. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the forces driving the changes in the labor market and the implications for manufacturing.

1) Why the last three recessions all look different (1:44)

2) Employment growth for last eight recessions (4:12)

3) Why have the last three recessions been so different? (6:13)

4) The jobs cycle in manufacturing (8:52)

5) Excess capacity in construction has created a lag (10:33)

6) Manufacturing output versus manufacturing employment (11:14)

7) What's the solution to the downturn? (12:20)


1. Real GDP Growth From Peak to Peak Charts:

FRED -- "Real Gross Domestic Product, 3 Decimal ( Note: Calculated using (X1-X0)/(X0), where X0 -- recession peak quarter

2. Manufacturing Employment Chart:

FRED -- "All Employees: Manufacturing"(

3. Previous Episodes with John Taylor on the Economic Recovery:

Part 1 --

Part 2 --

Part 3 --