Doomgraph: This Recession's Unemployment vs Other Recessions

Time to crap your pants.

What makes this growth even more soil-worthy is that a bunch of these jobs aren’t coming back. Companies have used this economic downturn to permanently eliminate, restructure or ship overseas huge swaths of work, and consumers are unlikely to resume consuming at the same cheap-credit induced levels that fed the previous boom.

Employment-Population Ratio, Part Time Workers, Unemployed over 26 Weeks [Calculated Risk]


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  1. obits3 says:

    It’s not… that… bad…

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      You are right….It is worse.

    • bwcbwc says:

      About the only good news is that the 6% loss in employment was coming off of historically high employment figures (unemployment around 4-5%). The “shallower” recessions in the 1970s and 1980s were often starting from an unemployment rate of 8-9% and hitting 11-12%.

      • dangerp says:

        Good point. Every time I see a doomsday graph about the current state of affairs, there’s always some little piece of information the presenter left out that ends up making it not seem so bad.

  2. mmmsoap says:

    Well, consumers are unlikely to resume consuming at the same cheap-credit induced level that fed the previous boom until the generational knowledge is gone. Granted, that may be 20ish years, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen again.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Regarding the shipping jobs overseas.

    This requires penalizing businesses for performing these maneuvers. Which in 2011’s new Congress, will never ever happen.

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      Right you are. Hell, nothing happened even when the supposed “Anti-Business” Dems were in control. Why? Because Dems and Repubs are two heads of the same monster.

      They all owe their souls to wall street and huge corporations.

      • kylere1 says:

        I concur!

      • Paladin_11 says:

        If you haven’t done so yet, go see “Inside Job”. That will show you just how much “change” we really got in 2008. In other words, you’re absolutely right.

      • TheFinalBoomer says:

        You are exactly right unfortunately.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        And it’ll stay that way so long as the masses “don’t want to throw their vote away” voting for parties poised to actually introduce REAL CHANGE.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          At this point, I’d settle for change at all.

          Look, if Republicans think they know how to get it down, let’s open the door wide open. Let them build their vision to the brim. If it suceeds, then we all win. If it fails, they fail hard, and we the people will remind them they were wrong for a century.

    • voogru says:

      Punishing those maneuvers of shipping jobs overseas, results in those businessees closing up shop here.

      If it gets bad enough, those businesses will pay people to relocate to another country at a pay-raise and they’d still be better off than hiring here.

      And if you think taxing the imports are going to work… ha ha ha ha.

      • Jasen says:

        If it gets bad enough, those businesses will pay people to relocate to another country at a pay-raise and they’d still be better off than hiring here.

        If they only think 12 months ahead, as every American company seems intent on doing these days, yes.
        If they look 3, 5, 10 years ahead, what happens? U.S. economy takes a shit due to the unemployment rate. No one in your target market can afford to buy your product. You lose.

        The long-term effects of offshoring jobs is more detrimental to all companies in the long term than it is beneficial.
        However, they don’t care. We look ahead, at most, 4 quarters these days. We make stupid decisions in order to make sure that this quarter’s profits hit target, and completely ignore anything past that.
        Why do you think customer service is in the gutter in almost every industry? It does not generate direct revenue. It generates long term revenue, but they don’t give a shit about that anymore. Keeping jobs in the country generates longer term revenue–but who cares–we saved three million bucks this year by firing 50,000 of our domestic employees (customers). So what if in the coming years those customers won’t be buying our product? Someone else will be in charge by then.

        • NeverLetMeDown says:

          Problem is, for each individual company, the right decision is to outsource/offshore. Classic tragedy of the commons problem.

    • davidc says:

      What? Penalize companies? Why do you think they are shipping the jobs overseas for in the first place? Because they are penalized in the states for keeping the jobs here. Unions, Labor Laws, Medical Benefits, Workers Compensation, etc, etc, etc.

      Tax, Regulations, Fee’s, Permits, etc, etc, etc are what are driving jobs overseas. I don’t expect it to change for another 10-15 years till the kids of today get into power.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Perhaps the word I should have used was disincentivising?

        • OnePumpChump says:

          Deincentivising. Removing an incentive, rather than adding a disincentive.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Yes, removing the incentive to ship overseas.


            • OnePumpChump says:

              They are subtly different things. One implies that you have created an incentive and are removing it, the other implies either starting from a neutral position or at least starting from there regarding the specific disincentive, and not necessarily removing incentives that run counter to it.

              So…not a big problem.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          No, I think you were correct. Farming jobs out overseas directly harms the United States. I say we treat them as treasonous.

          It is important to note that they aren’t farming out those jobs which cost the company the largest sums of money: Upper and 3-Letter Management.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Oh, those silly laws that make sure you treat your employees like human beings. Those countries that treat workers as a disposable commodity, logs to throw onto the fire, sure do know where it’s at.

        • TouchMyMonkey says:

          Yeah, what you said. What we really need to do is remove all those pesky regulations and taxes and fees and stuff and make the USA more like China. I’m sure we’d all gladly work for a buck an hour and a bowl of rice. Yeah.

          • madmallard says:

            yeah, because as much debt as we farm out to china, we’re totally on the moral high ground telling them they aren’t playing fair to our employee laws.


        • Archergal says:


      • Kate says:

        Here is where the business is. If you don’t have the jobs here, the business doesn’t stay here. It’s that simple.

      • Hodo says:

        Uh, that’s not even a little true. In fact, in most cases, large multi-nationals get rewarded for out-sourcing to other countries via international tax law, in some cases outright tax credits. The issues you speak of aren’t penalties imposed by the U.S., it’s what happens to ALL developed countries when competing against un or under-developed countries as it relates to work force law. Additionally, those developing nations have demographics (organic population growth/birth rates) on their side. When you are (as a nation) struggling to simply keep everyone employed and prevent them from starving so that there won’t be a revolution, things like environment laws, child labor laws, paid holidays, etc. look like VERY distant tertiary concerns. Developed nations, on the other hand, aren’t struggling with those issues, so more elevated issues (such as EEOC, worker rights) take precedence. This says nothing of the fact that in many cases, the countries we’re outsourcing to have predatory, merchantilist trade policies (i.e., they’re more than happy to sell us their goods, but make it very difficult for us to sell them our “stuff”). This isn’t company versus company anymore, it’s nation versus nation.

  4. OSAM says:

    Well shit.

  5. milkcake says:

    Probably things are more optimized.

  6. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    I agree with the final comment on this. Employers used the economic issues as an excuse to lay of millions of workers, streamline and pare down operations to the bone and outsource tons of jobs to .50 cent and hour countries.

    So who the hell do these companies think will buy their products, given that they have just donkey punched 20% of the US working population and are squeezing the remaining 80% with lousy or non-existent raises and lower salaries?

    Oh that’s right….the rich will save us all by spending their millions on stuff which will create jobs and income…So we can all become indentured servants to our plutocratic leaders.

    • lymer says:

      Kool-aid. Stop drinking it.

      • jessjj347 says:

        Have you ever read the memo that was leaked from Citigroup? Corporations don’t care about the average consumer. They only care about the rich.

        I’m not sure if you are referring to companies investing in other countries instead of the US, when you made the kool-aid comment…Your comment is very vague.

    • Mecharine says:

      I always wondered why people keep saying that if the rich keep more money they’ll invest it back into our economy. Wouldn’t they invest that money in countries that are growing much faster than ours? China?India?

      Those two countries have the potential to make the USA redundant in terms of economic power. I think what we’ll see soon is that the rich will invest in high growth markets instead of the USA domestic market.

    • Garbanzo says:

      Are there really countries where the wages are half a cent an hour, or are you using Verizon math there?

      • PunditGuy says:

        Wikipedia says unskilled Burundians make 160 of their francs a day, which today equates to a hair under 13 American cents. Not quite a half cent an hour, but in the right order of magnitude.

        • bwcbwc says:

          Well, except that the unskilled workers aren’t making products for export to the rest of the world. They’re digging ditches, doing rudimentary carpentry, subsistence farming…

          It would be useful to see the labor costs for export manufacturers. I suspect they’re still insanely low (on the order of 50c an hour) compared with the US. A lot of the most highly skilled outsourced jobs will come back though. There aren’t _that_ many Chinese and Indians with the technical skills needed, and that causes wage inflation abroad. Plus there’s always the risk of industrial espionage, political or diplomatic turmoil and other reasons the Asian giants will never take all our jobs.

          • Pax says:

            Well, except that the unskilled workers aren’t making products for export to the rest of the world. They’re digging ditches, doing rudimentary carpentry, subsistence farming…

            …. moving boxes in a warehouse, packing products into those boxes, cleaning the factory floor … “unskilled labor” constitutes a surprising number of factory jobs, really.

            See also: Deskilling ( ); it doesn’t take a genius to sit in front of a panel with three buttons (Stop, Start, and Alarm) and two lights (red and green) … and when said panel replaces four skilled workers, well …

            Heck, a lot of jobs on a standard assembly line are not skilled positions!

    • Mr. Stupid says:

      Funny, I didn’t see you buying only “made in America” goods.

      As long as “blame the corporations” types like you keep blaming the corporations while they buy cheap Chinese crap, you’ll wonder why US jobs are disappearing.

      Grow up. You get what you pay for.

      • amgriffin says:

        Does this guy know you’ve been watching his purchases? Sounds like it’s time for a restraining order.

  7. dolemite says:

    I know personally…a company will lay off people and give “the recession” as an excuse, then work their current employees another 15-25% more to make up the difference while not paying them any more money.

    I tell you…it’s really jacked up that certain professions are exempt from overtime requirements. Big business must have really lobbied hard to get that crap passed.

    • Bativac says:

      Ain’t that the friggin’ truth.

      Where I work, they cut loose 150 independent contractors – and replaced them with us, working permanent mandatory unpaid overtime.

      The work is piling up and people are starting to jump ship. Maybe this will happen elsewhere and the people running big business will have to re-think things.

      • exit322 says:

        If that happens enough places, I think you’re right – it’s a cyclical thing, and when there are enough jobs to allow employees to pit employers against one-another, things will improve for the employees.

    • exit322 says:

      Oh, totally – in the interest of full disclosure, I am a CPA, and some of the clients my company has absolutely used the recession as an excuse to get rid of employees they didn’t need. The general line of reasoning was “We had 400 employees at our peak, we know we only needed about 250, but if we cut 150 jobs at the peak of the economy, people would freak and stop buying our products because we were going under anyways. Now, no one thinks two seconds about it.”

      In the company’s defense, 50 of those jobs cut were employees that retired that the company simply didn’t replace. From what I understand, our clients that have cut jobs haven’t really added a lot of work load onto the current employees; it’s just a combination of doing things more efficiently and having less work overall. Which is good and bad, I guess.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I disagree that big business lobbied for exempt positions.

      There is a very impartial system set up to combat those issues. I read about the cases regularly as part of my job continuing education, and trust that big business loses big sometimes on these. The “smell tests” for emempt versus non-exempt is pretty robust and fair.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      This is how they do it at my company. A few months ago, our VP sent a memo basically stating that “working 40 hours a week is not enough.” Apparently, there is no limit to how many hours an exempt employee can be asked to work, and this is now grossly abused. Why have 2 employees at 40 hrs/week, when you can make one work 80 hours? And we’re so desperate and thankful just to have a job that we shut up and do it. (Well, maybe we don’t shut up…)

      • kaplanfx says:

        That my friend is capitalism. If they can find labor willing to do the job correctly for 80 hours a week and the offered wage why would they in cease wages?

      • reynwrap582 says:

        When I was 18 I worked at McDonalds and became fairly good friends with our store manager. She had to work a ridiculous number of hours, but was paid salary and was exempt from overtime/etc.

        For shits and giggles, after a particularly long week, we added up the hours she had worked the past year (she still had to clock in/out every day), divided it by her salary, and found she was making less than I was per hour…in fact, less than minimum wage.

        She had health insurance but it was pretty much useless, but when added in got her just a few cents over min. wage.

      • dg says:

        It’s not true that there’s no limit to how much exempt employees can work. Given current case law, it’s generally about 60 hours/week. After that they are entitled to overtime at 1.5x their current wages.

        As a professional, I might do one or two weeks at 80 hrs (or more) to get the job done, but after that, I’m getting overtime.

        YMMV from State to State – have the persons affected file complaints with the State labor board, and also with the Federal Dept of Labor.

      • zzyzzx says:

        And the name of this company is?

  8. Sammich says:

    While the effect (jobs not coming back) sucks, the cause (less cheap credit induced spending) isn’t really.

    • qwickone says:

      Yes it is, American’s have paid down household debt by the billions and so have businesses.

      • Sammich says:

        Availability of cheap credit not coming back would be a bad thing, but a large glut of credit-based consumer spending would just perpetuate the cycle. A credit-fed boom can easily become a credit-fed bubble when that credit is overused like was before this recession.

  9. Qantaqa says:

    There’s always money in the banana stand.

  10. El_Fez says:

    And you figure that’s the reported unemployment. You’ll really shit yourself when you realize that the graph probably doesn’t account for the REAL unemployment numbers.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      This arguement again? None of these graph plots accounts for the “real” unemployment, so adding it to the most recent one would only skew the results and make the graph false.

  11. TooManyHobbies says:

    In the long run, I don’t understand how people can think that the world’s per capita income won’t equalize. There’s no particular reason why Chinese people should make less than Americans or EU residents. Unless you advocate forcibly keeping entire segments of the world’s population in a low standard of living, how can pay not eventually equalize?

    Yes, this means that people in historically high paid countries will make less. And since eventually salaries will rise in the sweatshop countries, stuff will cost more. I think it’s going to lead to wars as people in places like the US realize where they’re heading and refuse to accept it.

    • kaplanfx says:

      Pay won’t equalize because there is not a free labor market in other countries and they prevent labor market monopolies (read unions). There wages will certainly increase as will standard of living, but their governments will prevent them from reaching American level wages.

    • Avrus says:

      This. Someone who understands economics on a global scale.

  12. EverCynicalTHX says:

    I don’t see our standard of living increasing for generations to come, it will continue to erode as countries like China and Mexico continue to increase.

    Eventually the two will be about the same and at that point maybe things will look up long tern.

    I hate being pessimistic but I just don’t see things getting better anytime soon – at least not in this generation. I’m looking back on the early to mid 2000s as “the good ole days”

    • Kate says:

      Not to mention that we were getting killed by gas prices when the recession hit which eased that cost. If jobs come back, we still have to face running out of oil.

      In a horrid way, the recession was a good thing, in that it made us stretch our oil.

    • amgriffin says:

      You’re absolutely right, in my opinion. If the labor market is now global then the living standard for workers will level out globally as well. It’s be a continued steep decline in the standard of living for the majority of Americans for generations. Recall that post about “see where the iphone worker drones live”? Well, I’m thinking it’s a window into the future for American workers.

      When Americans are impoverished enough to work at the wages corporations pay to outsource to other countries then the jobs will come back…but it will be at those wages.

      • darcmosch says:

        That’s not entirely true because of the fact that while low-skilled jobs will become available to all and everyone in those jobs will see a decrease (that is also showing now in the low-skilled mental jobs (as in no formal education is necessarily required, i.e. most dmv procedures- driver license testint, etc that can be made automated with a few managers who can operate them) in their wages because those jobs are always going to in threat of the next lowest wage. The only thing that can and will survive is skilled jobs which require degrees and certifications and a level of critical thinking that cannot be reproduced by an area. An example is silicon valley. While the actual building of chips is done in factories underbidding each other for contracts. The R&D is still in california because it is such a rich mine of knowledge that it would be a disadvantage to build an R&D facility somewhere else because of the learning curve.

        That is why every place needs to find some niches to entice to come in and then have a city basically build around it. My city Knoxville, TN has two such niches (that I know of there could be a few smaller ones) One is the University, which did take a hit from the crash, has actually not lost too many jobs compared to much of the country. Another one, which I found out about after my recent stint to open my own business, is entrepreneurship and there is a small bubble of entrepreneurs and investors willing to back them that has actually been growing this entire time. My mother’s house has actually kept a lot of its value. Just like how Detroit was the motor city and Pittsburgh was a steel town.

        The short version is: specialization will keep jobs and a city growing

  13. Supes says:

    Why are 80 and 81 plotted separately?

  14. np206100 says:

    There are 11.1 million illegal immigrants in the US
    There are 14.8 million unemployed
    Draw your own conclusion

    • Brink006 says:

      Yeah, those illegal immigrants taking up all those jobs on wall street. Hell, I think our creative director and our marketing manager are illegal immigrants, taking those high paying jobs!

    • Short_Circuit_City says:

      There are 76 million baby boomers in this country. This is a generation that has literally gotten everything they’ve ever wanted in their lifespans. They are the same generation running Congress, companies, and the media and they all want their money before they retire. This is their last fight and they’re willing to blame everyone and anyone not like them. If you think illegal immigrants are the problem, look again.

      • MrEvil says:

        You’re absolutely right. The baby boom generation is all about getting theirs and fuck us young people if we don’t like it.

    • denros says:

      OH MY GOD! I never saw it before – the illegals are unemployed!
      Where the hell is fox news when I need them to interpret these statistics for me!

    • LandruBek says:

      The US economy is not a zero-sum game: it grows and shrinks. It’s not like a game of musical chairs. Immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, grow the economy and create jobs.

    • amgriffin says:

      Where is the number of American jobs that have been sent overseas by American corporations, if we are going to have a full comparison?

  15. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I’m actually kind of surprised the 1990 recession is showing up as mild as it does.

    In my situation, it was much more severe, and it was accompanied with the peak of a lot of very bad social problems, which just heightens it even more in my memory. Unemployment rates may have been lower but just about every other negative statistic peaked at around 1991 – 1992.

  16. Raanne says:

    You can make a graph look like anything.

    If you limit the current recession to 1 year, the way they seem to have limited other ones, than the peak month has fewer jobs, which means that the overall percentage of jobs lost relative to the peak employment is less.

    Whats really funny is the only other really long “recession” on there is the 2001 one. Which goes out to 2005. And then another one starts in 2007? So basically anything that isn’t a peak counts as a recession? The only time in the past decade we weren’t’ in a recession was 2006-2007? really?

    Also, take a look at the slope of the job losses in the beginning. There should be a point where it lessens to zero. If you don’t see it, then either a) we aren’t looking at the full curve or b) the curve for the current recession is taken out too far.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I don’t think you looked at this objectively.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      Those lines aren’t plotting GDP growth, they’re plotting employment. This graph will stop growing when employment reaches pre-recession levels.

  17. Vanilla5 says:

    I’d like to see where the Great Depression fell on this chart.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      The Great Depression peaked at about 25% unemployment, and started in 1930 with 3.2% unemployment (Black Tuesday being 1929, but the effects of the markets don’t hit the mainstream until sometime after that winter). Which means it looks much much worse than this graph as it only scales to -7%.

      That said, just because it was so much worse, this doesn’t mean that it’s “let’s do coke off of hooker’s asses” time again.

  18. Eyegor says:

    As long as we keep chasing the Keynesian model, we’ll continue to have exaggerated boom/bust cycles. Given the vast amount of money being created from thin air, this particular cycle will be especially harsh.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Except that, since we’ve been “chasing that Keynesian model,” the boom/bust cycles have been radically less severe than beforehand. Check out the stats – before the Great Depression (and the Keynesian response), recessions routinely included 15-20% drops in economic production. Since then, we’ve had one recession (in 1945, as the economy shifted to a peacetime footing) where economic output dropped more than 5%.

  19. gjones77 says:

    And this my friend is what excessive government intervention gets you.
    (notice I said excessive, yes, there needs to be some laws)

    The issues with our government regulations today is twofold, we have too many regulations, taxes laws that prevent companies from wanting to hire, especially with regards to the recent healthcare reform.

    On the other hand we have laws and regulations actually written by larger companies to ensure they don’t have competition like the recent toy manufacturing regulations that only large corporations can afford to comply with and laws preventing health insurers from selling policies across state lines to prevent competition, and the lack or tort reform.

    We have issues caused by both sides.

    Don’t worry though guys, there’s about $7 trillion in mortgage debt floating around that is in a really bad spot, $6 trillion of it we own in the guise of Freddie and Fannie.

    Don’t get me started on commercial real estate, the banks haven’t even gotten to foreclosing on that yet, their hands are too full dealing with personal mortgages they don’t even hold the titles for…

    • rooben says:

      sorry, calling BS on that one.
      Health Care is an excuse used by businesses that don’t want to hire.
      Businesses don’t want to hire, because employees eat into profit. With this economic downturn, businesses took the opportunity to do severe cuts, and are not planning to hire back, health care bill, regulations, or not.
      In every recession, the LAST thing to recover is jobs. And it takes a boom to get back to pre-recession levels.
      No business is going to hire ANYONE until they absolutely have to – when not having those people prevent enough sales/output that pay for the new staff, and introduce new revenue.
      Anyone thinking that these businesses aren’t hiring because of “Obamacare” are swallowing the pill. Its all about revenue (besides, we already know that big businesses found that accepting a fine is cheaper than paying for insurance).

      • cluberti says:


        Think about that the next time you work for a company that says that “people are their most important asset”. They’d rather pay a fine than provide healthcare, or help the government pay for it. Any company’s most important asset is the means with which they maximize their profit whilst minimizing cost – and people are the largest cost in almost any business, specifically the cost of salaries and benefits.

        Any company that says anything to the contrary is no different than the politicians they’re trying to blame their problems on right now – they’re all liars, cheats, and backstabbers out to screw you, preferably whilst they have their hand in your wallet as well. Democrat, Republican, they’re both spelled exactly the same – p o l i t i c i a n. I suppose it’s not a wonder the bulk of politicians tend to be lawyers first.

  20. LHH says:

    Whats laughable is so many people buy into the whole “Business creates jobs” myth that is spouted by our political leaders. Wrong. Ask any true business man, and he will always reply, “I am not in business to create jobs, I am in business to make money.” If some jobs are created in the goal to make money great. But on that same token if he can make even more money by eliminating jobs or shipping them overseas then he will do that as well. Without even blinking an eye.

    Looks whats happening now. Interest rates are some of the lowest they have been in years but businesses are not hiring and most banks ain’t lending. Hell a lot of them are using their money to buy back their stocks or are stockpiling their money away or snapping up smaller businesses. Why hire more people when they are still making a profit after laying a bunch of folks off and productivity is not suffering? If I, as a business man, cut my work force by 10% but my profits continue to rise why in the hell should I hire more people? A workforce is just an expense. This is also just one example why customer service sucks so bad for so many companies. But I digress.

    Why I believe they need more tax cuts so they can trickle down the jobs to us ordinary joes. ROFLMAO.

  21. Pax says:

    …. where owuld hte Great Depression be, on that same graph, I wonder?

  22. lockdog says:

    So what would this chart look like without the stimulus and TARP? How many people are employed by GM, Chrysler, the delaerships, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and all the other big banks and investment firms? I still don’t love the idea of bailing out car companies which had been failing for decades, much less the banks and other speculators that actually caused this crash, but it sure looks like the alternative would have been worse.

  23. Sword_Chucks says:

    I know Im not counted in this… I was employed as a student, but then I graduated. I moved to Chicago and had maybe 2 months of work in about 10 months. – those two months were temp jobs, such crap. Now Im a consultant with a contract ending in december to which Im joining the navy. stupid economy…

  24. pj1280 says:

    Why does anyone need a job these days? Just take any cash you have, invest it in Netflix and Apple stock (and buy a little gold with the spare change), and sit back and watch it grow. Cha-ching!!!

  25. Vandil says:

    Move to where the jobs are. I know that’s not convenient, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

    • ARP says:

      More than just not being convenient. A record number of people are under water on their mortgages. They can’t afford to move. My place is work about 25% less than I bought it for and I can’t afford the loss of value hit plus realtor’s fees.

  26. El-Brucio says:

    The company I used to work for was a multinational with offices in major cities all over North America. The one in my town employed about 90 people five years ago, but only 15 today. Those jobs are now all in India where they can pay them a tenth of what they paid here and not give out any benefits. I can only imagine something similar has happened in all the other offices.

    While I’m certain that is great for the shareholders, it’s not great for the workers or community. And I’m seeing this happen again and again with all sorts of jobs. Every business thinks that it can increase it’s profits by doing this, but once *all* of them do it, there will be hardly anyone left here with the money to buy anything anymore.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      That’s a very good point. It’s a classic tragedy of the commons problem – if one company cuts US workers, either through greater efficiency or outsourcing, that makes them more efficient, and the impact on demand is minimal (even for huge US employers, the vast majority of their customers aren’t employees of the company). If EVERY company does it, though…

  27. Savebyj says:

    Couple of points.

    1. Outsourcing is a sticky issue. My biggest beef with both sides of the argument is that no one has real numbers. The other issue is if you have a company that has a US Citizen living abroad and working for the company, is that outsourced? If you have a US Citizen living in the United States but working on networks overseas is that outsourced? If you are still using the local/foreign job idiom then you haven’t read Thomas Friedman ‘The World is Flat’ (

    Now before I get some crazy whacked out replies let me explain that I have a company in the US and we employ nine people in the State of Texas and the one in Malaysia. Why the one in Malaysia? Because we literally couldn’t find anyone to do the work (it’s night work). Had nothing to do with the costs. We are growing, even in the recession and have every intention of hiring US employees with no plans to outsource.

    2. This recession seems to me (and I could be wrong) very similar to the ones in the 1980s; bad bank loans, bad commercial loans, high personal debt. This one though seems to be on steroids due to the collapse of the derivatives scam and the markets have lost faith in the Federal Governments ability to keep the deficit under control and stop printing money (therefore stop or resist inflation).

    3. Personal debt ratios are going down ( Lots of people that I personally know (including myself) are on a course to be debt free. I am hoping that we the consumers learn a lesson from this downturn and start using cash instead of debt to finance growth.

  28. xamarshahx says:

    That’s what Obama keeps saying, this is the worse recession since the Great Depression. Our economy almost collapsed before the stimulus passed. Nothing, but time is going to fix this colossal mess. You can’t just blame government, people bought bigger houses and more iPods then they could afford. Companies made bigger risks since investors demanded better returns. This recession was cause by a wave or poor government oversight and our own greed. Everyone wants to blame someone else, but how many of you have credit card debt? How many of you loved your tax cuts that came at the expense of adding to our deficit?

  29. spartie says:

    Looking at percentages relative to peak is going to make everything seem like doom. The peak is typically proportional to the ensuing low, as many jobs are created as a symptom of a boom economy. When the economy is in a negative growth cycle, those jobs are lost because they are reliant on positive growth, consumer confidence, and prosperity.

  30. BytheSea says:

    Cute that they turned it upsidedown to make it look like we’re falling into a sinkhole of doom.

    Is this because data counts women and underemployed?