2Center or American Progress | Economic Snapshot or April 2012
Competitiveness grows at slow pace.
Worker produciviy, he amoun o goodsand services produced in an hour o work in he nonarm business economy, is akey measure o he economy’s global compeiiveness. I increased by 0.9 percenin he ourh quarer o 2011. Produciviy now sands 6.9 percen larger han inDecember 2007, a he sar o he Grea Recession, bu well below he averageincrease o 10.5 percen or similar periods in he pas.
The labor market recovery continues.
Te economy has coninuously added jobssince Ocober 2010 and had 2.3 million more jobs in March 2012 han in June 2009, when he economic recovery sared. Te privae secor added 2.9 million jobs duringhis period.
Te dierence beween he ne gain and privae-secor gain is explained by he loss o 584,000 sae and local governmen jobs, as budge cus reduced henumber o eachers, bus drivers, re ghers, and police ocers, among ohers.
Jobcreaion is a op policy prioriy since privae-secor job growh is sill oo weak o over-come oher job losses and improve he economic orunes o America’s middle class.4.
Suffering of the unemployed stays high.
Teunemploymen rae sood a 8.2 percen inMarch 2012. Long-erm unemploymen bal-looned in recen years as he unemploymen raesayed high. In March 2012, 42.5 percen o heunemployed were ou o work and looking or a job or more han six monhs. Te average lengho unemploymen sayed high wih 39.4 weeksin March 2012.
Te long-erm unemployed aresill sruggling even as privae-secor job creaionacceleraes since millions o unemployed workersare sill vying or he newly creaed jobs.5.
Labor market pressures especially hurt commu-nities of color, young workers, and those withless education.
Te Arican American unemploy-men rae in March 2012 sayed well above averagea 14 percen, he Hispanic unemploymen rae was 10.3 percen, and he whie unemploymenrae was 7.3 percen. Youh unemploymen sooda a high 25 percen. And he unemploymen rae or people wihou a high schooldiploma sayed high wih 12.6 percen, compared o 8 percen or hose wih a highschool degree, 7.3 percen or hose wih some college educaion, and 4.2 percen orhose wih a college degree.
Vulnerable groups have sruggled disproporionaely more amid he weak labor marke han whie workers, older workers, and workers wih more educaion. Bu even hose groups ha are beter han heir counerpars inhe weak labor marke suer remendously rom high unemploymen.
Share of long-term unemployment, business cycle averages
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey (Department of Labor, 2011).
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