BW. Mark Zandi on the US economy. Today's
data suggest that the President won't be able to tell voters the
economy has recovered all the jobs lost on his watch. There's no
chance. In June, private-sector jobs were 109.8 million. The peak was
February of 2001, at 111.6 million. So we're 1.83 million away.
There's no chance we'll regain those by Election Day, That will make
him the first President since Hoover not to have added jobs on his
It has been a very difficult four years. The 5.6% [unemployment]
rate sounds low, but if you add the people who are underemployed or
have stopped looking, the underemployment rate is probably closer to 10%.
And if you're unemployed, you're stuck: The duration of unemployment is
about as long as it has ever been. In June [the average] was 19.9 weeks
— it doesn't get much longer than that. [John Robb's Weblog]