2Center or American Progress | Economic Snapshot or December 2011
Share of long-term unemployment, business cycle averages
deb burden on consumers. Bu i’s also ha way because o slow demand orU.S. expors in he wake o European economic urmoil and because o hescal sruggles o ederal, sae, and local governmens.2.
The trade deicit stays high.
Te U.S. rade deci sood a 3.7 percen o GDPin he hird quarer o 2011, slighly below he 4 percen recorded in he secondquarer o 2011 bu sill subsanially up rom is las rough o 2.4 percen o GDP in he second quarer o 2009
. U.S. expor growh, even when i was srongin recen years, has no been enough o overcome even larger impor increases,ollowing in par higher oil prices and hus larger oil impors. Tis pus more pres-sure on oher pars o he economy—consumpion and business invesmen chie among hem—o generae aser economic growh and more jobs.3.
The labor market recovery is slow.
Te privae secor coninuously added jobs rom February 2010 oNovember 2011 or a oal o 2.9million jobs.
Bu privae-secor jobgrowh slowed subsanially sar-ing in May 2011 hrough November2011. I averaged only 128,000 permonh during ha ime, down rom185,000 jobs per monh in he pre-ceding six monhs. Privae-secor jobgrowh is urher ose by job lossesin sae and local governmens, whereeachers, bus drivers, reghers, andpolice ocers, among ohers, are being le go, reecing governmens’ budge roubles. A oal o 430,000sae and local governmen jobs were los beween February 2010 and November 2011.
Privae-secor jobgrowh is oo weak o improve he economic orunes o America’s middleclass, making jobs policymakers’ op prioriy. (see Figure 1)4.
Unemployment stays high amid weak job growth.
Te unemploymen raesood a 8.6 percen in November 2011.
Long-erm unemploymen ballooned in recen years as he unemploymen rae sayed high. InNovember 2011, 43 percen o he unemployed had been ou o work and
Average weeks of unemploymentBusiness cycle start
Dec-48 Aug-53 Sep-57 May-60 Jan-70 Dec-73 Feb-80 Aug-90 Mar-01 Dec-07
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, CurrentPopulation Survey (Department of Labor, 2011).