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Five Years Of A Brutal Job Market, In Two Graphs

by Lam Thuy Vo
Jan 3, 2013

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Lam Thuy Vo

It's now just over five years since the recession started, back in December 2007. The recovery officially began in 2009, but it's been grindingly slow. As of December, there were 4 million fewer U.S. jobs than there were when the recession started.

Those losses come disproportionately from two sectors: manufacturing and construction.

A few sectors — notably health care — have been steadily adding jobs. Lots of others lost jobs during the recession, then gained them back during the recovery. (Note: When we've posted versions of these data in the past, people have asked why high-tech isn't included. It is included, but it's folded into the category labelled "professional services," which also includes accountants, lawyers and other professionals.)

Unemployment is still far higher than it was before the recession, as is a broader measure of unemployment (the wonks call it U-6), which also includes people who are working part time but want to be working full time and people who want a job but gave up looking.

Note: We've updated this post to reflect the latest jobs numbers.

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