The official dating of recessions is done by
In the current moment this can only reliably be accomplished through expansionary fiscal policy: large-scale ongoing public investments, the reestablishment of public services and public-sector employment cut in the Great Recession and its aftermath, and strengthening safety net programs.
One of the most effective policies available to help the economy would be to simply reinstate the emergency unemployment insurance benefits program that was allowed to expire last month.
To keep up with growth in the potential labor force as measured by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), we should have added over 90,000 jobs per month on average over the last six years. A Decade of Flat Wages: The Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class.
Altogether, we would have needed to add 6.6 million jobs over the last six years just to keep up with growth in the potential labor force. The United States Labor Market: Status Quo or a New Normal?
It has since gained back 7.4 million, so the labor market remains “just” 1.3 million jobs below its December 2007 level of employment. Labor Market Will Lose 310,000 Jobs in 2014 if Unemployment Insurance Extensions Expire. Mishel, Lawrence, Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, and Heidi Shierholz.
It is important to note, however, that because the working-age population (and with it, the potential labor force) is growing all the time, getting back to the December 2007 level of employment is not nearly enough.
Combined with the fact that these expenditures would also assist millions of the long-term unemployed who lost their job through no fault of their own during the worst downturn in seven decades, the case for reinstating the extensions is unambiguous.
While layoffs are no more prevalent now than before the recession began, there are currently around 1.5 million layoffs every month, meaning a work-sharing program could avoid many layoffs and significantly reduce unemployment. For example, less than half of households own any stock at all—even including stock held indirectly in retirement accounts. Furthermore, many of those who do hold stock do not hold meaningful amounts; less than one-third of households have stock worth at least ,000—again, even including stock held indirectly in retirement accounts (Mishel et al. Worse, the indicators that really matter to the living standards of the vast majority of working-age households—jobs and wages—have seen agonizingly slow progress toward full recovery. Given that we are instead down 1.3 million jobs, the total “jobs gap” is currently 7.9 million (see Figure A). National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No.
Six years since the start of the Great Recession and four-and-a-half years since its official end, the U. labor market remains extraordinarily weak, with nearly eight million jobs needed just to restore the labor market to pre-recession health. “One by One, States Are Pushing Bans on Sick Leave Legislation.” Economic Policy Institute Economic Snapshot, November 6, 2013. The stock market and corporate profits, for example, have both surpassed their pre-recession peak in real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) terms. The Labor Market Four Years into the Crisis: Assessing Structural Explanations. Unfortunately, such gains do little to help the vast majority of households. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. Shierholz is a coauthor of The State of Working America, 12th Edition; is a frequent contributor to broadcast and radio news outlets, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and NPR; and is regularly quoted in print and online media outlets, including the .