Are Jobless Recoveries Really That Unusual? [Infographic]

By economists' determinations, the recent recession the nation endured beginning in December 2007 officially ended in mid-2009. But for many jobless Americans the pain still lingers. More than two years into the rebound, job creation remains tepid, leading some to refer to the current economic situation as a jobless recovery.

There are some bright signs on the horizon, however. As reported Thursday, weekly first-time claims for jobless benefits have been steadily trending downward for some time. At the height of the economic crisis, U.S. News & World Report notes, new weekly claims for unemployment rose to above 500,000 for more than a year, and for most of the first half of 2009 climbed to well above 600,000.

More recently, however, initial claims have routinely tallied less than 400,000 weekly, though that's a level well above what is considered healthy for the labor market.

Still, it isn't unusual for unemployment rates to remain high well after the economy appears on a path to growth.

A number of factors contribute to keeping jobless rates at sustained levels during an economic recovery. Those include discouraged job seekers who stop looking for work and are no longer counted among the unemployed. After the economy and employment prospects perk up, however, their numbers once again begin showing up in employment data as they resume searching for jobs.

More indicative of the current recovery is another factor: timid employers. Unsure of what the future holds, many companies hold off on hiring until an economic rebound appears more certain. Following the massive job cuts that took place just a few years ago, many companies have made do with smaller staffs, and many feel little reason to jump on the hiring bandwagon until they are sure the costs associated with taking on more workers can be justified.

Of course, those aren't all the only factors that contribute to keeping jobless rates high after recessions end. For more insights, check out the infographic below.

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Mental Disorder

This administration is so full of themselves that they should all be put in jail for mockery.

November 22 2011 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

evidently aol jobs is not connected to huffo.......i know that because what i type doesnt get censored and dissapears.

November 21 2011 at 5:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 21 2011 at 5:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is BS, what the government told people in 09, everyone knew it was BS and they needed a dose of reality, with DOD laying off 8% or 400,000 by 2013 and USPS laying off another 100,000, that doesn't include the private sector closing their doors due to no one buying because they can't afford too. Almost 18% people out of work, that's the real number, the 9.3 the government comes up with doesn't include the people that have lost their unemployment. Maybe we all need to put on our waders, so all the BS their throwing at us, only gets so deep.

November 21 2011 at 5:23 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Tye Edwards

Don't buy into the hype. The reason the jobless numbers are trending down is because jobless people are losing their unemployment benefits. And when their benfits end they are no longer counted as unempolyed. That's somethingthe Gov't doesn't tell you. Our actual numbers are much closer to 15% or more. every politician knows this but doesn't say it because it can then be used against them. They also try to blame unions for the trouble in the employment sector. But only 6 to 8% of all American workers are unionized. Another fact they withhold. They don't want unions around because then they can't mistreat employees and force them to accept unsafe and underpaid positions. They can't get as rich if the they have to actually pay you!

November 21 2011 at 3:15 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

I understand why rich people are Repukelicans but why the long list of laid off poor slobs are is a mystery.If you think the Rich White Man's (GOP) party gives a crap about you you are mistaken...hell even the Democrat's don't anymore. They have been all bought off by the corporations....

November 21 2011 at 3:12 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

seriously NOT MANY PEOPLE are working!

its way way higher than 9%

November 21 2011 at 2:00 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

I've been saying for over a year, "What Recovery"? My salary is frozen for the next 3 yrs. Cost of living is going up, even though the news media ignores it. Gas is over $3/gallon, sometimes over $4/gallon. IF this is a recovery, God save us from the alternative!...My favorite restaurant closed 14 months ago (they'd been in business for 20 yrs, & were rated as 1 of the top 12 steak houses in the area); 2 yarn stores closed; My favorite family run produce shop,mainly apples, closed in August (in business since 1959!), and the Indian school in SD that we support & visit, told us that 2/3 of their contributors have had to cancel their support. IF there is a recovery, I haven't seen it!

November 21 2011 at 12:55 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to nasknit's comment
Tye Edwards

You are correct. The Gov't sees the lack of a decline as an improvement. Though nothing has actually happened. Consumer goods are still too high and our unemployment numbers are false. They don't count people who run out of benefits. I have been in SD and though I didn't get to the Indian schools I heard much about their plight. Shame, and other kids whine they have to ride the bus to public schools!

November 21 2011 at 3:20 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

You notice the only ones that are using the term "recovery" are the Elected Officials that have sucked the rest of us dry. This country has been heading down hill still from 09 to when ever. Maybe if we dont elect them again, and remove their 248,000 pay and medical. And Put them on term limits, then they will have to take the blinders off.

November 21 2011 at 5:27 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Zito

The experts say the recession ended in June of 2009. Funny, I was laid off my job in July of 2009, so my recession just started.
And maybe the reason there are smaller numbers claiming unemployment for the first time is because so many people are already out of work, so there are less people to lay off.

November 21 2011 at 12:47 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

What is sad but true congress has a approval rating of 5%,yet most will get reelected not because they are good at what they do but because they are a Dem or a Repub. America votes more down Party Lines than in the last 50++ years and idiology ain't helpin'.

November 21 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

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