Jobless Recoveries

In recessions between 1950 and 1982, GDP always fell by more than employment, and as a result productivity per worker declined. Starting with the 1990-91 recession, things reversed. In that recession, GDP declined 1.2% yet employment fell by 1.7%. In the 2001 recession, GDP fell by 0.3% while employment fell by 1.2%, and in the Great Recession, GDP fell 4.7% while employment fell 6.3%, resulting in rising productivity during recessions.

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