Catherine Rampell at NYT's Economix: The average unemployed person in America has been looking for work for 39.7 weeks, or more than nine months. That is the longest average unemployment spell since the Labor Department started keeping track in 1948:
Sunday, June 5, 2011
In his Friday New York Times column entitled “The Mistake of 2010,” Paul Krugman cogently explained how the conservatives’ obsession with invisible bond vigilantes, fearmongering about non-existent inflation, and overwrought sky-is-falling rhetoric about deficits are serving to distract us from the real problems facing our country – joblessness and poor economic growth.
Professor Krugman described how the conservatives’ focus is wrongheaded and threatens to repeat in 2011 the mistake of 1937, when President Roosevelt temporarily sidetracked the recovery from the Great Depression by instituting austerity measures designed to curb inflation, rather than continuing to use government spending to create jobs:
As the stimulus has faded out, so have hopes of strong economic recovery. Yes, there has been some job creation — but at a pace barely keeping up with population growth. The percentage of American adults with jobs, which plunged between 2007 and 2009, has barely budged since then. And the latest numbers suggest that even this modest, inadequate job growth is sputtering out.So (in 2010) we have already repeated a version of the mistake of 1937, withdrawing fiscal support much too early and perpetuating high unemployment.Yet worse things may soon happen.