The Myth of the Jobless Recovery

A blog about business and economics.
Jan. 8 2013 3:24 PM

The Myth of the Jobless Recovery

You may have heard of the idea of a "jobless recovery," a recovery in which the economy grows but doesn't add jobs because of structural problems or because firms are adding robots instead or whatnot. Some hot new research from Laurence Ball, Daniel Leigh, and Prakash Loungani says the problem here is there's no such thing as a jobless recovery and the classic Okun's Law link between GDP growth and employment is holding up fine. If recent recoveries haven't packed much job-creating punch it's because the recoveries have been unusually slow in terms of GDP growth as well.

I liked that paper because I recently sat through the presentation of an economics paper showing that one leading explanation for jobless recoveries—a reversal of traditional "labor hoarding" behavior patterns—is wrong and based on bad data. It turns out, in other words, that counter-cyclical productivity doesn't explain jobless recoveries both because productivity isn't counter-cyclical and because there are no jobless recoveries.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough, So They Added Self-Immolation

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.