The nation has 5% fewer jobs today — a loss of 7 million — than it did when the recession began in December 2007. That is by far the worst performance of job generation following any of the dozen recessions since the 1930s.
In the past, the economy recovered lost jobs 13 months on average after a recession. If this were a typical recovery, nearly 10 million more people would be working today than when the recession officially ended in June 2009.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty about the economic recovery, and many companies that would like to hire are reluctant to do so because they're not confident sales will pick up and remain strong," says Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center
This unique recession has been particularly unfriendly to job-seekers, experts say. "There was too much employment in housing, and that isn't coming back — and frankly shouldn't come back," says Amar Bhide, a Tufts University
The housing collapse and productivity gains on the factory floor have made it hard for the economy to absorb workers without a college degree and young people generally, says Carl Camden, president of Kelly Services
, a global staffing firm. Manufacturers are producing more value than ever in the USA
with a fraction of the workers needed before, he says.