Posted June 13, 2012 by

Economy Creates Hiring Hang-Up for Employers

While employers may want to hire more workers, some are uninspired by the current economy.

The U.S. is coming up on the three-year anniversary of the end of the 2008-2009 recession, which occurred in July 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiters of recessions’ beginnings and ends.  After eight months of continued job loss after the end of the recession, the private sector has managed to string together 27 consecutive months of net payroll gains totaling 4.3 million new jobs.  Yet, the economy is still only about halfway toward recovering the nearly 8.8 million jobs lost as a result of the recession, which is more than the number of jobs lost in the previous three recessions (1981-82, 1990-91, and 2001) combined.  Unfortunately, there are no signs of an imminent hiring boom.  The latest NFIB survey of small businesses, which are critical to job creation, found that business owners expect the U.S. economy to get somewhat worse instead of better over the next six months.  Further signs of sub-par hiring expectations can be seen in survey results released yesterday by Manpower, which showed that while hiring prospects have improved slightly in the U.S., companies report that they will only add workers “when they have to.”  


Recession Length Jobs Lost

Jobless Recovery (months)

Return to pre-recession level (months)

Total months to full jobs recovery

1981-  1982 16 months 2.7 million




1990 – 1991 8 months 1.6 million




2001 8 months 2.7 million




2007 – 2009 18 months 8.75 million


27 and counting

35 and counting


Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., with data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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