Friday, April 2, 2010

Chart of the Day -- Nonfarm Payrolls

Today, the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls (jobs) increased by 162,000 in March -- the largest increase in three years. This chart puts the jobs decline and recovery into perspective by comparing job losses following the beginning of the current economic recession (solid red line) to that of the last recession (dashed gold line) and the average recession from 1950-1999 (dashed blue line). As the chart illustrates, the current job market has suffered losses that are more than triple what occured at the lows of the average recession/job loss cycle. It is also worth noting that previous job market declines did not tend to end abruptly but rather flattened out before moving back into an expansionary phase. Today's relatively positive jobs report provides an early indication that the current job market is moving from a phase of stabilization to that of expansion.

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