New Rutgers report examines nation’s slow private sector employment recovery

A new Rutgers Regional Report, “Inching Our Way Back: The Nation’s Tepid Employment Recovery,” authored by James W. Hughes, dean of Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Joseph J. Seneca, university professor and economist at the Bloustein School, examines the patterns of employment in the recession and recovery in the major business sectors and discusses the implications for the economy.

Slower recovery may be in part due to the nation’s evolving industrial composition, according to the authors. Following previous recessions, manufacturing and construction jobs were driven by temporary factory and construction layoffs and often regained in “rehirings.” For the first time, the services sectors—namely transportation, trade, and utilities; information; financial activities; and leisure and hospitalities — account for the majority of the employment losses. These losses may be the result of adapting to new economic realities, which subsequently produces jobs that are different from those lost and whose creation occurs at a slower pace. 

The authors also examine the historic metrics of the previous recessions, noting the trend of ever-lengthening recovery periods for full job recovery. “The increasing amount of time to accomplish full employment recovery appears to be extending into unprecedented and uncharted territory,” according to the report.

The complete report may be found at: http://policy.rutgers.edu/reports/rrr/RRR35apr13.pdf.

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