Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jobs: not a recession yet

Job losses have not yet reached the pace that is typically associated with recession, and Prof. Ed Leamer of UCLA's forecasting project concurs. He has done some good work replicating the results of the NBER (official recession-calling group) and concludes that we aren't in a recession, that things would have to get worse before we can make the recession call. So far we've only lost a little more than a million jobs. During the (very mild) 2001 recession, we lost 2-3 million jobs. That's little consolation, of course, for those who have lost jobs, but the fact remains that this is in all likelihood still a very mild economic slowdown and not yet a recession. It's very intense for some sectors of the economy, particularly housing-related and finance workers, but not in general.

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