Advancing a Free Society

A Tale of Two Job Markets: Today & ‘83-‘84

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Today’s jobs report provides yet more evidence that this is a recovery in name only. The 9.2 percent unemployment rate is certainly a serious problem, but you can understand the problem a little better by looking at the percentage of working-age Americans who are actually working. This percentage declined again to 58.2 percent in June, and is well below what it was when the recovery officially began.

The chart below shows the change--during the 24 months of this so-called recovery--in the percentage of people working and compares it with the recovery after the most recent deep recession of 1981-82.

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(photo credit: Roger Wollstadt)