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A term that has been coined by economists and other pundits from the financial media to describe an economic recovery that is too slow to quickly regain the jobs that were lost during the preceding recession.

The recovery of 1992 is generally considered to be a "jobless recovery", because employers favored investing in business equipment, implementing productivity improvements and demanding more hours from workers instead of hiring new employees.

Some of the symptoms of a jobless recovery are:

  • While the growth rate of the economy increases the unemployment rate does not go down.
  • A relatively few number of jobs are created.
  • The median number of weeks spent on unemployment increases.
  • The percentage of the unemployed looking for a job for longer than six months increases.

For example, in 1992, the percentage of the unemployed looking for a job for longer than six months peaked at 23.1%, seven months after the recession has officially been declared over.

While recession and recovery are normal for the economic cycle, jobless recoveries can be very hard on the people who lost their jobs in the recession, who find themselves locked out of the job market for extended periods of time. They can also be difficult on the politicians in office. The jobless recovery of 1992 was seen by many analysts as the major reason George Bush lost the 1992 U.S. Presidential election to Bill Clinton.

Sources:
http://www.lights.com/epi/virlib/Faxes/job/2002/jobsjuly2002.PDF
http://www.arizonarepublic.com/business/articles/0903jobless03.html

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