"Here is an embiggened version of the infamous jobs chart prepared by Obama administration economists Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer back in January 2009 (and now updated again by me with data from the August jobs report)."
"The December employment report showed that nonfarm payroll employment fell 85,000 since November. (In November, employment ticked up 4,000; November’s gain was the first increase since December 2007.) In addition, the unemployment rate remained at 10.0%. The unemployment rate was 4.9% in December of 2007. In December 2008, 15.3 million people were unemployed. By contrast, in December 2007, 7.7 million were unemployed. The recession has produced an extraordinary number of long-term unemployed: over 6 million people have been out of work for at least six months.
While the unemployment rate is 10.0%, the fraction of 'underemployed' is much larger. The fraction of those unemployed, discouraged or otherwise not looking for work but willing to work, and those working part time for economic reasons was 17.3% last month.
According the report, 'Temporary help services added 47,000 jobs in December. Since reaching a low point in July, temporary help services employment has risen by 166,000.' After a downturn, firms typically hire additional temporary workers before hiring additional permanent workers, in order to be sure that an economic recovery will be sustained. As a result, temporary hiring one closely watched indicator for signs of improvement in the labor market."
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