2Center or American Progress | Economic Snapshot rom March 2012
Competitiveness grows at slow pace.
Worker produciviy—he amoun o goodsand services produced in an hour o work in he nonarm business economy—isa key measure o he economy’s global compeiiveness. I increased by 0.9 per-cen in he ourh quarer o 2011, deceleraing rom 1.8 percen growh in heprevious quarer. Produciviy now sands 6.6 percen larger han in December2007, a he sar o he Grea Recession, bu well below he average increase o 7.9 percen or similar periods in he pas.
The labor market recovery continues.
Te economy has added jobs coninuously since Ocober 2010 and had 2.2 million more jobs in February 2012 han in June2009, when he economic recovery sared. he privae secor has added 2.8 million jobs during his period.
Te dierence beween he ne gain and privae-secorgain is explained by he loss o 590,000 sae and local governmen jobs, as budgecus reduced he number o eachers, bus drivers, reghers, and police ocers,among ohers.
Job creaion is a op policy prioriy since privae-secor job growhis sill oo weak o overcome oher job losses and o improve he economic oruneso America’s middle class.4.
Suffering of the unemployed stays high.
Teunemploymen rae sood a 8.3 percen inFebruary 2012. long-erm unemploymen has ballooned in recen years as he unemploymenrae sayed high. In February 2012, 42.6 perceno he unemployed were ou o work and look-ing or a job or more han six monhs. Teaverage lengh o unemploymen sayed higha 40 weeks in February 2012.
Te long-ermunemployed are sill sruggling, even as privae-secor job creaion acceleraes, since here aresill millions o unemployed workers vying orhe newly creaed jobs. (see Figure 1)5.
Labor market pressures fall especially oncommunities of color, young workers, andthose with less education.
Te Arican American unemploymen rae in February 2012 sayed well above average a 14.1percen, and he Hispanic unemploymen rae sayed high a 10.7 percen, whilehe whie unemploymen rae was 7.3 percen. Youh unemploymen sood a ahigh 23.8 percen. And he unemploymen rae or people wihou a high schooldiploma sayed high a 12.9 percen, compared o 8.3 percen or hose wih a highschool diploma and 4.2 percen or hose wih a college degree.
Vulnerable groupshave sruggled disproporionaely more amid he weak labor marke han whie
Share of long-term unemployment, business cycle averages
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, Current Population Survey (Department of Labor, 2011).