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A very rough estimate of how long high unemployment will last

April 25, 2013

6.5 year recovery in employment

If the trend remains steady, about another year and a half. That’s a long recovery. Note, there is exactly zero sophistication in this estimate. I literally just drew a line that looked about right and I’m assuming the recovery proceeds at the previous pace.

Labor force participation

From the above graph, it looks like labor force participation (the percent of the working age population who have jobs) hasn’t recovered at all. So basically, it’s going to take another year and a half for those who’ve lost their jobs not to find other jobs, but to give up all hope that they will ever get jobs and resign themselves to permanent unemployment. Blerg.

Further reading:
BLS report on unemployment from 2007-2009.


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