Since the start of the current recession, the cumulative job loss is 8 million, a staggering figure when compared to past recessions. The 1981 – 82 recession was severe and has often served as a benchmark during the progress of this recession but the total job loss was less than 3 million.
In a 10/17/09 WSJ article, Sara Murray focuses both on the job loss of recessions in the past forty years and the recovery periods, the time it took to regain those lost jobs after the recession ended. The 2001 recession lost almost as many jobs as the 1981 – 82 recession but took a painfully long 47 months to regain the lost jobs. This recession has lost three times as many jobs as the 2001 recession and we are still counting job loss every month.
Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of GDP in this country. Unemployment affects not only the unemployed but those with jobs who become more cautious in their purchases, fearing that they might be next. Those who have been betting on a swift recovery are likely to be disappointed.