Catherine Rampell writes about the striking fact that "While about 8 percent of Americans are unemployed, nearly a quarter of Americans say they were laid off at some point during the recession or afterward."
That's amazing. But it is worth keeping in mind the striking facts from the BLS JOLTS data about the relative weight of layoffs versus hiring in inducing a weak labor market. You can see there clearly was a spike in layoffs during the recession. But the recession began with as slump in hiring, and while the layoff spike faded rapidly, the hiring slump has been agonizingly slow to vanish. Layoffs, to a surprising extent, are always pretty common as various companies fail or get into trouble. But with a healthy labor market, other companies are expanding or starting up at the same time.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?