(July 2011) Total national payroll employment growth in the current and preceding expansion are the weakest in the postwar era due to Manufacturing losses that started under former President Bill Clinton. 


Employment has grown less than half of one percent (0.40)1 since June 2009 when the last recession ended.2  Employment was lower in November 2003 two years after the previous recession’s end.3  Total employment in both cycles was effected by a severe contraction of Manufacturing employment, which reached its peak at 17,637,000 (March 1998) under Clinton and fell to 11,707,000 (June 2011).


One in three U.S. Manufacturing jobs disappeared in the period.


The postwar trend before the Manufacturing peak was for national employment to expand at higher rates two years into a recovery: 


Two years after 1945 recession                           15.1%

Two years after 1948-49 recession                      11.8%

Two years after 1953-54 recession                        7.2%

Two years after 1957-58 recession                        7.4%

Two years after 1960-61 recession                        5.0%

Two years after 1969-70 recession                        6.5%

Two years after 1973-75 recession                        6.2%

Two years after 1981-82 recession                        8.1%

Two years after 1990-91 recession                        1.3%


–Greg Kaza

1 Total national payroll employment was 130,493,000 (June 2009) and 131,017,000 (June 2011, preliminary), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).


2  National Bureau of Economic Research (www.nber.org), business cycle chronology.


3  Total national payroll employment was 130,901,000 (November 2001) and 130,146,000 (November 2003).