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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Post Is on Another Planet: Job Growth in the First Quarter Was Not Strong

The Post Is on Another Planet: Job Growth in the First Quarter Was Not Strong

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Friday, 29 April 2011 05:57

The calls for the bankruptcy of the Washington Post (a.k.a. Fox on 15th Street) are getting louder. The post told readers that:

"The job market was a bright spot in the first quarter ... with the unemployment rate falling and job growth coming in strong."

The economy added an average of 159,000 jobs a month in the first quarter. At this pace it will take more than 14 years to get back to normal levels of unemployment. By comparison, in the year following the end of 1981-82 recession the economy created almost 290,000 jobs. Adjusting for the growth in the labor force, this would be a pace of more than 450,000 jobs a month now.

In the four years from 1996 to 2000, when we had already fully recovered from the prior recession, the economy generated 250,000 jobs a month. It is not clear what criterion the Post is using in describing the job growth in the first quarter as "strong."

Comments (3)Add Comment
Standard of Strength
written by Jeff Z, April 29, 2011 8:16
Someone high up in the administration told them that.

The the 'fact-checkers' reach back into the deep dark corners of the their mind where undergraduate macroeconomics information is stored. They update to current trends, and recall that the current rule of thumb for absorbing the growth in the labor force is job creation of 125,000 per month. Any quarter that averages above this, must by definition be 'strong' even if at 159,000/month average it means a decade and a half to recover.

And the possibility of another business cycle is nowhere considered over that time, because that time to recover is ignored.
print cut off
written by frankenduf, April 29, 2011 9:06
strong smelling?
...
written by izzatzo, April 29, 2011 4:44
It is not clear what criterion the Post is using in describing the job growth in the first quarter as "strong."


It's the same criterion it used to describe how strong the economy was during the housing bubble.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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