Floyd Norris’ column in Saturday’s NYT hits upon one of our favorite themes: That the 2001-07 recovery was one of, if not the, weakest recovery from a recession:
The view of this recovery as an unusually weak one can also be seen in all four economic indicators that make up the index of coincident indicators, a way that the health of the economy is measured. Three of them are adjusted for inflation — industrial production, personal income, and manufacturing and trade sales — while the fourth is the growth in the number of nonagricultural jobs.
All of those are measured from the official beginning of a recovery to the official end, which in some cases can be well before a particular indicator turns up.
The postrecession trends in employment show particular signs of having changed. Before the recovery that began in 1991, the number of jobs always hit bottom at about the time the recession ended. But it took 14 months after the 1990-’91 recession officially ended for the number of jobs to rise the level when the recession ended. After the 2001 economic low, it took 28 months for the number of jobs to match the end-of-recession total.
All this and a ginormous chart, too:
Shallow Recessions, Shallow Recoveries
NYT, August 29, 2008