The Recession May Be Over, But What About Unemployment?

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The National Bureau of Economic Research has announced that the recession ended last June.

When I read that, I thought there was a typo. “It ended last June? As in June 2009? Someone call the NBER, they’ve got this all wrong!”

But, as it turns out, there was no typo. At least in an economic sense, the recession is officially over.

The reason that I – and probably almost everyone else in the country, except the eight economists on the NBER committee – completely missed the end of what will probably go down as the worst financial downturn of our lifetimes is that many of us are still feeling the “lagging indicators” of the recession.

History says that these lagging indicators, which include unemployment, often take years to recover to pre-recession levels — something that is clearly illustrated in the unemployment rate. In June 2009, unemployment was at 9.5 percent. A year after the recession ended, in June 2010, unemployment was still at 9.5 percent. In August, it was 9.6 percent.

Yet despite a persistently high unemployment rate, there are signs that we’re slowly moving in a positive direction. Below is a roundup of some recent good news from the world of employment, which gives us a reason to hope that someday in the not-too-far-off future, lagging indicators will be no more:

College hiring: According to a recent survey done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 13.5 percent more new college graduates in 2011 than they did in 2010.

Holiday hiring: The outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas has released a study on holiday hiring trends that says retailers expect to hire 600,000 holiday employees this year, up from 500,000 last year and 384,300 in 2008.

Health care hiring: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the health care industry added 23,000 jobs in August.

Temporary hiring: The temporary employment category has added 392,000 jobs since September 2009, according to the BLS.

Long-term unemployment: The BLS also reported that the number of people unemployed for longer than six months dropped by 323,000 in August.

Pay increase: Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.6 percent.

Graduate school: In mid-September, the Council of Graduate Schools reported that first-time enrollment in graduate school increased by 5.5 percent from 2008-2009.

How do you feel about the end of the recession? Is it just an economic formality, or do you think we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?

39 Comments
  1. HI

    I don’t want this a as a comment but can’t see how else to contact the site!

    You are right here, there is tons of advice abounding which concerns itself with how to look for a job. I wonder about emotional advice on the topic of how to maintain some kind of equalibrium under that kind of pressure, I think a forum where the unemployed could share tips and tactics would be a really meaningful addition.

    That would of course need to be moderated.

    Do you know of such a thing or would the work buzz be interested in creating a blog / forum like that?

    cheers

    lucy

    • Hello,
      I have read the ad regarding the hiring of new employees. I have been unemployed for 6 months and I have applied to hundreds of jobs (online). I have found that this the worst way to find a job; it seems that the job listings are attached to recruitment companies. I have not had much success, is there a ligitimate website for jobs. There are too many inconsistencies with looking for jobs online. Any help would be great.

      Thanks

      • The best advice I have ever given someone who is job hunting ( I, too, have been job hunting like crazy) is to “email” the prospective employer or hiring manager as to “introduce,” yourself and to make the point that you are worth hiring. And, on top of that, apply online, send an email to hiring manager and also, send out your resume, cover letter and references to this employer, keep doing all three:
        1. email prospective employer: introducing yourself
        2. Send out via mail: cover letter, resume and references
        3. Apply online: on companies website or whatever means it takes to “apply” online.
        Then make sure you have a number, email to “follow up” w/in 5-10 days of sending out your stuff, info, etc. You see, in order to get “recognized,” you have to do all three, this way, you “stand out” to potential employers,’ and state that you want “at least, an interview” so you can demonstrate why their company should want to hire you. Good luck.
        HC

        • I am a hiring manager and just because your a pest means nothing. You either have desirable skills or you don’t….sorry nothing else matters.

          • So what do you determine as hireable skills? One who takes initiative to get hired? I am in sales…and I can tell you!!! Persistance pays off. It is true that sales is where business starts. Getting a job is sales. Your selling yourself…and for me…it is simple…did I get the job? Yes or No…Hiring managers have become stuck up…and uncaring in my opinion.

      • most companies will only let you apply online, they don’t want to be bothered with you walking into their companies there are too many people out of work.

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  9. I have a B.A In Criminology, have considered “Free lance Writing,” and starting up my own company to provide many support systems to many companys like Typing Correspondence, Mailings, Admin Support, Clerical, Data Entry and Customer Service…so that companies no longer have to use temp agencies, I am willing to go that distance to make sure companies do not have to pay me too much, I go by the hour, and time frame of the assignment. I wanted to do this for some time. Hopefully, someone takes me seriously on my attempts to do this kind of “Free lance” work. I can type over 70 words per minute, have been doing Administrative Support, Data Entry and Customer Service for over 10+ years and have not found a job in my area yet. it baffles me that nobody wants to hire anyone of my caliber, yet, temp agencies do and are quick to call me. I’m okay with that, however, I want “more” than just a temp job. I feel that I am professional enough to handle more work. I have always gone “above and beyond” on any job, project, assignment..I give it my all, yet, nobody has given me the time of day.

    • heidi, join the club you are over qualified and you are a go getter, companies don’t like that because the hiring manager’s are afraid you will take their job that’s one, you are probablay asking to much money as in an hourly salary or a yearly salary. Companies want all the “young” college kids so they can “mold” they way they want to. But even the “college kids” can’t find a job even though Obama promosed them there would be a job when they graduated. I don’t think Obama is going to help them pay back their school loans. I’m an IT Professional and I have been out of work for almost 3 years, I no longer want to do “temp” work so I know what you are going through. It’s easier to companies to hire “Temp” because they can either hire them or let them go. You have a great idea but with the way the “banking” system is good luck in getting a loan to start up your business.

      • I graduated in 2007, just when the recession started hit its stride and I still can’t find a job in my degree field (public relations). I have applied to hundreds of jobs and I have only heard back from one. Unfortunately, that single reply didn’t even score an interview. I basically racked up an enormous amount of student loans for nothing. I would’ve been better off going to a trade school and learning how to repair air conditioners!

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  17. Lets see-
    1. How many college graduates are being employed in their field work or are they finding employment in areas they are overqualified for such as the local grocery store?
    2. Holidays are the time for hope and good will. Lets hope they turn into full time positions after the holiday are over.
    3. How many of these jobs in the health care arena are for home health aids who are under paid for the work they do?
    4. How may of these temporary jobs were for the census work that is now completed?
    5. Is this number of unemployed on the decline because people have found work or have their benefits just expired?
    6. So many people who have remained employed have gone a couple of years without raises or even cost of living increases-this is long overdue and probably a cost of living increase rather than a pay raise for a job well done.
    7. How many cannot find employment so they are going back to school hoping additional education will make them more marketable?

  18. Santa is coming to town ! the easter bunny is on his way ! the recession is over !!!!!!!!!!!!! just more NOBAMA bull sh-t less people are collecting beacause their claims ran out, census jobs and part time holiday work is not job growth because thaey are not long term employment. hey NOBAMA who are you lidding we know you are full of sh_it

  19. Don’t believe this crap that has been written. Economist make sure that employment is the last to recover. This is a model that all ecomomist are taught. I was an economic major, this was the very first thing I was taugh. I ask why? I was told that all financial and banking isssue come first before empolymet. This is a model that still holds “true” today. Economist only go on “models and theroies”. Economics is not an exact science that why economists are wrong more than half time. The recession isn’t over until people are back to work this means small, medium and big business start hiring “NOT GOVERNMENT” Economist believe that Government creates jobs again they have it wrong “GOVERNMENT DOSE NOT CREATE JOBS”. As long as the American Worker is not “working” the recession or depression which ever one you want to call it will not be over. “It time for the American People to tell the all the politicitans that if you send anymore “American” jobs to China or over seas you will no longer be in Congress”.

  20. I understand the market is hard out there and you have to understand there are jobs that most people will not take or do. I have a Masters degree and since I cannot find a position in my chosen legal field I am working 2 part time jobs 1) dispatcher 2) cashier. Granted they are not my dream jobs but it is work and I am not that proud not to work if offered.

  21. When the end of recession is defined as consecutive quarters of GDP growth….

    And you can manipulate GDP growth with the printing press….

    As the Fed did in ’08 when they doubled the money supply to recapitalize the banks….

    It stands to reason that GDP will increase, since it’s a measure of the total value of the economy.

    The economy is stagnating because of “regime uncertainty.” There has been no end to the slide, let alone recovery, in spite of what government-manipulated data say.

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