Jobs Lost Since Recession: 8.4 Millionby Tim Manni
The numbers look bad once again. We’ll start with the bad news, then work our way to the not-so-bad news.
Since the recession began in December of 2007, the U.S. has lost 8.4 million jobs. “In terms of job losses, this has been the worst recession since the end of the World War II more than 60 years ago,” writes Rex Nutting of MarketWatch.com. Nonfarm payrolls dropped 20,000 in January, a sizeable pool of jobs, but far less than the 150,000 (revised upward) lost in December. Moving onto the better news, the unemployment rate dipped to 9.7% from 10% last month. If the unemployment rate can continue to trend downward, it will be especially encouraging since some analysts expected the rate to remain at or above 10% for the entire year.
Remember what we said last month about not falling for erratic monthly job reports? If not, here’s a refresher:
It’s easy to look at December’s jobless numbers or January’s jobless numbers and get down about the fact that some 170,000 jobs (revised upward) were lost following November’s upward revision which found that 64,000 jobs were created. Again, it’s important that we remember to focus on the overall trend.
Looking at graphs (like the one from economy.com) of the employment situation over the last year, it’s a visual representation that things are improving. I emphasized the word “visual” because things may not feel as though they’re improving on the street, but the numbers are trending towards a slow and gradual improvement.