Saturday, July 17, 2010

Realistic Economic Recovery Expectations.

This is not meant to be a political post!  I am not trying to state who is or has been right, wrong, to blame, etc... when it comes to the economy of this country.

The point of this post is to put into perspective the magnitude of what we face in terms of recovery. The plot above is from the Washington Post with accompanying text:
That's job growth per month on the X axis, and how many months that level of job growth would take to get us back to pre-recession levels on the Y axis. Notice that adding new jobs at a rate of 200,000 a month would take us 150 months -- or 12.5 years -- to get back to normalcy. So far, only April has seen more than 200,000 in non-census jobs growth -- and even then, just barely.
So basically, if job growth continues at the rate it has been recently, it will take another 12.5 years before we "recover" economically.  If this decade averages the best growth we ever experienced in a single year of the 1990s, it will take ~5 years.

I'm guessing the reality will lay somewhere in between.  That means realistically, no matter who is in office or what is their political officiation, the odds are it won't be until the end of the decade before we have recovered from this mess!

That's just a reality we will all have to deal with.  Thoughts?


  1. Yep, I would say that's about right as I see it. However, (not to get too political) but I think our country suffers from the infusion of Keynesianism into our economic thought process. We are trained to look at specific indicators to gauge economic success/failure. Then we make lots of neat charts and draw conclusions without ever asking whether or not our premises are bad.

    As usual, I would like to see Uncle Sam butt out of the process and allow people to allocate their resources in the way that would lead to new jobs without the Federal Gov't deciding where those jobs should be. But to do that, you have to let people and companies make their own decisions (something we seem to be uncomfortable with in our current climate).

  2. Dang it! You "scientists" are always interfering with our wishful thinking! How is the value of my portfolio supposed to grow unrealistically and unsustainably if you go and talk about hard numbers and reality?!?! =:)

  3. Those are sobering numbers, especially when there aren't any real signs of strong job creation on the horizon. It looks to me like we're going to be dealing with very high levels of unemployment for at least a decade, which is really going to tax our current governmental programs like welfare, medicaid, and the like. That probably also means that we can count on poor funding levels for science and reduced numbers of faculty positions at public universities for quite a long time to come.


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