Get a load of this chart, from Calculated Risk. It shows job losses in the 11 U.S. recessions since 1948. Our Little Depression is in a class by itself:
(Hat tip: James Fallows.) A few things to take away:
- The maximum decline (6.4%) of jobs in the current slump was the worst of any of these recessions.
- Even after 18 months of so-called recovery, the current employment decline (5%) is larger than the maximum decline in all but one of the other recessions.
- At this point after the start of every other recession (except, ominously, the previous one in 2001), it was over and employment had fully recovered its peak level.
Summing up: It has now been 43 months since the last employment peak, and employment is still down 5%, a bigger job loss than in every recession since 1950. By this time after every other postwar recession (but one) began, employment had fully recovered.
If this isn’t a depression, then economists and the media have redefined depression to mean “something that occurred in the 1930s.”