Jobs Looking for People
In a speech to a group of business economists in late March, Bernanke noted that in order for the unemployment rate to drop further from here (it has moved down by nearly a full point since last summer to 8.3%), the economy needs to pick up steam. Our view remains that the labor market continues to heal at a modest pace.
The economy has added 3.9 million private sector jobs since February 2010, after shedding 8.8 million jobs between early 2008 and early 2010. At 8.3% the unemployment rate is well below the recent peak (10.0% in late 2009), but nearly double the rate seen (4.4%) prior to the Great Recession.
The broadest measure of unemployment, which includes those working part time and those who have given up looking for work, stood at 14.9% in February, down from 15.1% in January and a recent peak of 17.2% in late 2009. This measure of slack in the labor force is still nearly double what it was (7.9%) prior to the onset of the Great Recession.
LPL Financial Research 2012 Forecasts
Please see our 2012 Outlook for more details on LPL Financial Research forecasts.