With increasing signs that the economy is laboring, most economists agree that a short-term infusion of spending, or an extension of this year's temporary cut in Social Security taxes, could help fend off a new downturn.
Here's a brief overview of some key stats on where the economy stands.
- Annual rate at which the GDP grew this year: 1.3 percent between April and June, 0.4 percent between January and March
- Average annual GDP growth from 1998-2007: 3.02 percent
- Total jobs lost since January 2008: 8.7 million
- Total jobs recovered since January 2008: 1.8 million
- Recession technically ended: over two years ago, in June 2009
- Current unemployment rate: 9.2 percent
- The "natural unemployment rate": 5 percent
- Months that the unemployment rate has been around 9 percent or more: 28
- Number of unemployed people in June 2011: 14.1 million
- Growth in number of unemployed people since March 2011: 545,000
- Number of long-term unemployed people in June 2011: 6.3 million, or 44.4 percent of the unemployed
- Pace at which jobs were added throughout the late 1990s: 350,00 per month
- Jobs that were added in June: 18,000
- Jobs the U.S. needs to create to 5 percent unemployment rate: 6.8 million, as of January 2011
- Years it will take to get back to an unemployment rate of 5 percent: four years if we're adding jobs at 350,000 per month; 11 years if we're adding jobs at the 2005 rate of 210,000 per month
- Unemployed workers per job opening: 4.98
- Number of people who weren't in the labor force, but wanted work, as of June 2011: 2.7 million
- The last time the labor force participation rate was lower than it is now: 1984
- The amount of state budget spending that comes from the federal government: about 1/3, or $478 billion in 2010
- Increase in before-tax corporate profits in the first quarter of 2011: $140.3 billion
- Percentage of Americans' total personal income that comes from federal funds: almost 20 percent
- Spending cuts in the proposed budget: at least $2.3 trillion over a decade from 2012-2021
- How long you can currently receive unemployment benefits: up to 99 weeks
- The number of those weeks funded to some extent by federal aid: up to 73
- People currently relying on federal unemployment benefits: 3.8 million
- How long you'll be able to receive unemployment benefits if you lose your job after July 1, 2011: 20 to 26 weeks, depending on your state
- Recovery-funded jobs reported by recipients, according to recovery.gov: 550,621
- Amount of stimulus money left to be spent: $122.8 billion of the original $787 billion
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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