Unemployment and employment-to-population, over the cycles

I’ve posted several variations of the simple graph showing the monthly change in employment from the onset of the recession –the one that looks like an upside-down bell curve tracing out bigger and bigger job declines from December 2007 through the summer of 2009, followed by smaller and smaller monthly losses until about the beginning of 2010, and finishing with small, irregular, job gains through 2010.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has produced two other useful graphs in the same vein. The first compares the monthly unemployment rate, by number of months from the start of each of the recessions in 1974-75, 1981-82, 1990-91, 2001, and 2007-2009.

Unemployment rate, by month after start of recession, 1974-present

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The second graph shows the corresponding data for the employment-to-population rate.

Employment-to-population rate, by month after recession start, 1974-present

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Both underscore just how badly the labor market has been performing since late 2007, even compared to earlier recessions.

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