- In 2008, only 13.2% of the labor force was unemployed at some point. That compares to 18.1% in 1980, and 22% in 1982.
- Real wages, which normally fall during recessions, have risen in this one. Even nominal wages are up.
- The mancession is over: “male employment has risen by almost one million this year, while female employment has fallen by 300,000?.
Salmon still finds cause for concern:
The problem is that persistent unemployment at or around 10% is unacceptable in the U.S., especially with the social safety net being much weaker here than it is in Europe. Leonhardt is right that Euro-style safety nets aren’t particularly innovative, but they do at least keep people housed and clothed and fed and living outside poverty reasonable expectations for anybody to have, I think, in the richest country in the world.
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