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The Adult Recession: Age-Adjusted Unemployment at Post-War Highs

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  • David Rosnick

Abstract

Since the Great Depression, the worst episode of unemployment came in the second half of 1982 and the first half of 1983. Over that time, the unemployment rate stayed above ten percent from September through June—reaching 10.8 percent of the labor force in November and December of 1982. A naïve examination of the raw unemployment rates would suggest that the downturn of the early 1980s resulted in a labor market even weaker than what we have experienced as a result of the collapse of the housing bubble. However, the demographics of the labor force have changed significantly over the last quarter century. After adjusting for the aging of the population since the early 1980s, the current labor-market downturn has resulted in both a higher unemployment rate and a longer period when the rate of unemployment remained over 10 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • David Rosnick, 2010. "The Adult Recession: Age-Adjusted Unemployment at Post-War Highs," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-15, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2010-15
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/ur-2010-07.pdf
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    Keywords

    unemployment; unemployment rate;

    JEL classification:

    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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