The U.S. Jobs Recovery Is Still Way Faster Than After the Financial Crisis

The jobs report today was somewhat disappointing, and given that this is two months in a row, the evidence is starting to suggest that getting to something resembling full employment may take a bit longer than people expect.

However, one piece of important context is that the recovery is still brisk and it’s still way faster than the wake of the Global Financial Crisis.

Here’s one of my favorite charts that I’ve been watching over the last year, from Bill McBride at Calculated Risk. It shows the trajectory of job losses in the last 12 recessions. As you can see, the speed of the collapse was way faster this time relative to the GFC, but the bounce back is also much faster and it continues still, with the red line close to intersecting with the blue line.

The U.S. Jobs Recovery Is Still Way Faster Than After the Financial Crisis

Arguably, the situation is even better when you look at permanent jobs lost. This downturn is already less bad than the last one, and it’s close to being better than the 2001 downturn.

Meanwhile, as George Pearkes of Bespoke Macro notes, the percentage of people who want a job but don’t have one continues to come down sharply. 

Speaking of which, the conversation around labor force matching — just the logistical challenge of getting people back into their old jobs or finding new ones — may become a larger part of the conversation.

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