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Department of "Ahem!": Unemployment Edition

FRED Graph  St Louis Fed 113 1

Back a month or so ago, at Stanford, Christina Romer said:

Zale Lecture: Let me start with continued high unemployment. This has obviously been a terrible recession. The collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting financial crisis set in motion a horrible decline in spending and employment. Problem. The past two and a half years have been simply wretched for many American families. At its worst, employment was down some 81⁄2 million from its peak. Unemployment hit 10.1%. This truly has been the worst recession in the United States since the Great Depression. Now we started growing again the third quarter of 2009. Employment started expanding about a year later. So far, we have added about 1.5 million jobs. And the unemployment rate has fallen just over a percentage point. That is certainly an improvement, but it is not nearly good enough. The unemployment rate is still 8.8%. More than 13 million Americans are without a job. Six million of them have been out of work for more than six months...

Count me as unimpressed with falls in the unemployment rate 100% of which are declines in labor force participation, and 0% of which are the result of increases in the employment-to-population ratio...

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