by guest blogger The Angry Future Expat
This will be my last post over here, so let me express my gratitude to Hardknocks and Angel for giving me a wider platform to post my scribbles. Also, thanks to you all for not flaming me in the comments - though I suppose it could still happen. In any event, everyone is welcome to stop by my place any time - it's basically the same material I posted here, but with more swearing and insults.
With that said, the BLS report on payroll employment for March is either coming out tomorrow or was just released (depending on when this gets posted). The consensus estimate is an increase of 200,000 payroll jobs. Of course, the vast majority of any increase is due to hiring short-term workers for the Census - the consensus for private employment is a much more subdued 40,000.
But whether the numbers show a big gain, a small gain, or even a loss of jobs, keep in mind that the monthly results are mostly noise. Much more important is the long-term trend. For that, the Minneapolis Fed maintains its Recession in Perspective site. It's fun to play around with some of the features, and the chart below compares job loss and recovery across some recent recessions.
Barry Ritholtz notes that "If the 2007-09 Recession end up being anything like the 2001 recession, we are still 4 or 5 years away from a full jobs recovery back to employment levels prior to the crash." Scary as that is, those overeducated, overindebted, and underemployed readers of this blog, may "prefer" to think of it another way.
For every month of those 4-5 years of elevated unemployment, thousands of 20 and 30 somethings are going to sit for the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, or GRE, and sign up for a lifetime of crippling debt that they never would have considered in a normal job market. Sitting in class praying for a recovery before they receive their degree, so that they might at least have a shot - however slim - at the middle-class life so many could take for granted a few decades ago. And when it all goes south, they'll sit at their computers - while reading this blog and dodging calls from Sallie Mae - and wonder how they could have been so wrong. Think the MBA, JD, MD, and PhD markets are saturated now? Just give it a few years.
I leave you with that thought to mull over as I bid you farewell.
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