Free Markets, Free People
Depression-Era Unemployment Looms
Since the Great Depression, the peak unemployment rate was 10.8% in November, 1982. We will, in all likelihood, set a significantly higher record for the unemployment rate in the next 12 months. Here are 12 reasons why the unemployment rate will reach at least 12%.
I would also remind you that if we currently reported the unemployment rate as they did in the 1930′s, our current rate of unemployment would be around 17.2% In any event, here are just two of the most compelling reasons why the job picture is going to remain very cloudy:
For the first time in at least six decades, private sector employment is negative on a 10-year basis (first turned negative in August). Hence, the changes are not merely cyclical or short-term in nature. Many of the jobs created between the 2001 and 2008 recessions were related either directly or indirectly to the parabolic extension of credit…
But when we do start to see the economic clouds part in a more decisive fashion, what are employers likely to do first? Well, naturally they will begin to boost the workweek and just getting back to pre-recession levels would be the same as hiring more than two million people. Then there are the record number of people who got furloughed into part-time work and again, they total over nine million, and these folks are not counted as unemployed even if they are working considerably fewer days than they were before the credit crunch began…So the business sector has a vast pool of resources to draw from before they start tapping into the ranks of the unemployed or the typical 100,000-125,000 new entrants into the labour force when the economy turns the corner. Hence the unemployment rate is going to very likely be making new highs long after the recession is over — perhaps even years.
There are other compelling reasons at the link, but the two above are enough to ensure that the unemployment rate will remain high for quite some time.