Using the jobs data reported by the U.S. Department of Labor on October 7, 2011, the folks at Chart of the Day produced a chart (copied below) comparing nonfarm payrolls following the the recession that ended officially in 2009 (solid red line) to that of the prior recession (2001-- dashed gold line) to that of the average post-recession jobs growth between 1954 and 2000 (dashed blue line). This chart highlights the fact that the current jobs recovery is much weaker than the average jobs recovery that followed economic downturns throughout the last half of the 20th Century. The chart also illustrates the fact that jobs growth since 2009 has been slightly stronger than it was following the recession of 2001. Unfortunately the rate of job growth has slowed since end of the first quarter of 2011.
A key question is why job growth following economic downturns has slowed since 2000 in recent years? This is a question that bears some examination by those of us interested in a sustainable economic recovery and the future of the USA.