Planet Money
3:48 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

It Could Be Worse (Unemployment Edition)

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:46 pm

This is one of the defining graphs of the past few years.

With typical restraint, Business Insider calls it THE SCARIEST JOBS CHART EVER. It shows how brutal the recent recession was, and how horribly slow the recovery has been.

The recession was unlike any other during the post-war period — an era notably free of financial crises in the U.S.. And when you compare the current jobs picture with what happened during and after other financial crises around the world, it looks, if not good, then at least less bad.

Josh Lehner, the Oregon economist who put the graph together, writes:

While the initial path of both the global and U.S. economies in 2008 and 2009 effectively matched the early years of the Great Depression – or worse – the strong policy response employed by nearly all major economies – both monetary and fiscal – helped stop the economic free fall.

If we were Business Insider, we might say that THE SCARIEST JOBS CHART EVER COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT SCARIER.

via Calculated Risk

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.