The “Recovery”: Statistics vs. People

Reminds me of the old joke about the economist/statistician with one foot in boiling water and the other foot in a block of ice: on average he was comfortable.  Unfortunately it’s not funny when it involves a “rising GDP” with 10% unemployment.

Found this at Calculated Risk today:

Quote of the day …
“”What we see in the United States and some other economies is a statistical recovery and a human recession.”
Larry Summers, Davos, Jan 30, 2010 (via CNBC)

Percent Job Losses During Recessions Click on graph for larger image in new winder.

This graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

The current employment recession is the worst since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only early ’80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).