Length of US recessions 1948 to 2011: chart and graph
from David Ruccio
Increasingly long periods of high unemployment have followed the US recessions of the last two decades. From 1945 to the 1980s, employment rebounded roughly six months after GDP did. But in the wake of the 1990–91 and 2001 recessions, it recovered 15 and 39 months, respectively, after GDP had returned to the prerecession peak. At recent rates of job creation, the lag this time will be upward of 60 months. http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/newsletters/chartfocus/2011_11.htm
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