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Friday, March 19, 2004

Posted by Jake
An Article Chock Full of Statistics

As The Economist has recently argued—though in the face of many angry readers—the jobs lost are mainly a cyclical affair, not a structural one. They must also be set against the 24m new jobs created during the 1990s. Certainly, the slow pace of job-creation today is without precedent, but so were the conditions that conspired to slow a booming economy at the beginning of the decade. A stockmarket bubble burst, and rampant business investment slumped. Then, when the economy was down, terrorist attacks were followed by a spate of scandals that undermined public trust in the way companies were run. These acted as powerful headwinds and, in the face of them, the last recession was remarkably mild. By the same token, the recovery is mild, too. Still, in the next year or so, today's high productivity growth will start to translate into more jobs. Whether that is in time for Mr Bush is another matter.

Read the whole thing. Use the statistics to confound any chicken-littles out there who still believe the unemployment rate will never fall.


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