July 10, 2012

Why the Economic Recovery Isn't Strong Enough

Keith Hall

Former Senior Research Fellow
Summary

With its usual delay, the labor market hit bottom 8 months after the recession's official end. Since then, we've had 28 straight months of payroll job growth totaling about 3.9 million workers (excluding the temporary government jobs added for the 2010 decennial census). While this superficially sounds like progress, it has been one of the weakest recoveries on record.

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The Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009 and for nearly three years economic growth has been maintained at an annual rate of 2.4 percent. With its usual delay, the labor market hit bottom 8 months after the recession's official end. Since then, we've had 28 straight months of payroll job growth totaling about 3.9 million workers (excluding the temporary government jobs added for the 2010 decennial census).

While this superficially sounds like progress, it has been one of the weakest recoveries on record. Here's why:

First, economic growth has not been strong. In fact, with the exception of the 1980 downturn that ended in a double-dip recession, we've had by far the weakest post-recession gross domestic product growth in more than 60 years...

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