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Monday, April 05, 2010

"The Recession is Over"

Jeff Frankel -- a member of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee -- says:

The recession is over

He is basing this conclusion on the recent job market number showing positive employment growth:

...with the latest figures, employment changes have now turned positive.  This is the more definitive criterion, because a recovery is defined as a period of increasing economic activity, not a period when economic activity is high. The nine month wait was painful. But the lag between positive income growth (June 2009) and positive job growth (March 2010) turned out to be shorter than in the preceding two recessions (one to two years). ...

He may well be right, but I'm waiting for more than one month of somewhat encouraging employment data before coming to that conclusion. It's always possible that one month is a blip, not a trend. In addition, the conclusion is based upon the fact that labor markets are exhibiting positive growth, but positive growth is all that is required, the strength of the growth is not the determining factor. However, even though growth is positive, it is very sluggish and as David Altig notes, at current rates of job creation, the unemployment rate will still be over 9% a year from now. So this is by no means an "all clear" signal for labor markets.

    Posted by on Monday, April 5, 2010 at 01:08 PM in Economics, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (30)


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