The White House Attempts To Refute The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever

You’ve certainly seen the chart that we’ve dubbed The Scariest Jobs Chart ever, which shows how meager the jobs recovery has been since the start of the recession, compared to other recessions.

Here it is, in case you’ve forgotten what it looks like (via Calculated Risk).

scariest jobs

Photo: Calculated Risk

According to The White House, this is the wrong way to look about it.

A post on the White House blog offers up a chart they’d prefer you to use.

The idea: If you line up employment at the economic troughs (i.e. the beginning of the recovery), then you’ll see that this recession is above average in terms of the time it took to return to job creation.

Here are the two charts they show:


Photo: The White House


Photo: The White House

First off, neither of the recoveries are nearly as impressive as 1982, but that’s OK, and well known.

Secondly, only the second chart — hours of production — shows a return to growth that’s at all above “trend” if trend is defined as merely the 1991 and 2001 recessions.

What’s more increased hours of production is consistent with an economy that’s hiring less, but getting more productivity (up until recently) from the existing workforce.

But beyond that, we don’t think you can just ignore the steepness of the decline leading into the trough. We may be creating employment hours faster than in 1991 and 2001, but the decimation just wasn’t nearly as bad.

In the end, with this stuff, you can torture the data to get any story you want. But the jobs situation really is as bad as advertised, and The White House’s attempt to refute this actually just emphasises that.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.