Coming up for Air: Job Loss and Recovery in Postwar Recessions (updated August 2012)

This is, by now, a pretty familiar visual.  But it does drive home the exceptional depth and duration of the recession that began in 2007. Even if the national economy adds 208,00 jobs per month (the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s), by one estimate, it will take 8 more years to struggle to the surface.

Use the menu at right to compare the trajectory of postwar recessions. Job loss is measured as a percentage loss from the pre-recession peak (when the line dips to .99, for example, the economy has lost 1 percent of its jobs). Toggle between US and Iowa to compare the national and state of each recession. Use the “months” slider to compare recessions at a given number of months from the onset of the downturn.

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