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The Job-loss recovery

You really have to wonder how anyone could call it a recovery when people are still losing their jobs. But, apparently, the term is in the process of being subtly redefined by the establishment propaganda organs to include rising unemployment.

At this rate the next depression will be called a jobless and output-less expansion.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Forget a jobless recovery. The economy may be entering a recovery with job losses.

Third-quarter estimates this week are expected to show that the economy grew for the first time since the quarter ending in June 2008. Despite the estimated 3 percent expansion and a stock market that has been on a tear since March, hundreds of thousands of people are still being laid off each month.

Eight million jobs have been lost nationwide since the recession began two years ago, and by some measures workers face the worst job market since the Depression. The average laid-off worker has been without a job for 61/2 months, a post-World War II record. Many of those workers will never recover financially.

Still more news along these lines from the Atlanta Federal Reserve: A much greater percentage of us were permanently laid off from our jobs than has been recorded since 1970:

The percentage of employee separations labeled permanent is at a recorded high.

Underneath the usual total unemployment numbers are the reasons an individual is unemployed: You are on temporary layoff; you quit your job; you have reentered the labor market and have yet to find a job; or you are entering the job market for the first time and have yet to find a job. Or, finally, you have been permanently separated from your previous employer, who has no expectation of hiring you back.

The last category is the dominant reason for unemployment at this time. That might not seem surprising, but it actually is. Never, in the six recessions preceding the latest one, did permanent separations account for more than 45 percent of the unemployed. The current percentage stands at 56 percent as of September and appears to be still climbing: (Our emphasis)

permanent layoffs

Of course, none of this is proof positive that we are in for a “jobless recovery,” but, to me, the odds appear to be increasing.

The Fed also reports:

  • The share of workers reporting that they have been involuntarily cut back to part-time is at a recorded high.
  • Job losses have been disproportionately concentrated in small businesses.
  • Job opening are at a record low.

You’re gonna need a bigger boat…

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