A key finding of recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) is that the US economy has been experiencing increasingly lengthy “jobless recoveries” from recessions in the past two decades.1 It took roughly 6 months for employment to recover to prerecession levels after each postwar recession through the 1980s, but it took 15 months after the 1990–91 recession and 39 months after the 2001 recession. At the recent pace of job creation, it will take more than 60 months from December 2010 (when GDP reached its prerecession level) for employment to recover.
At a panel discussion sponsored by the Committee for Economic Development (CED) in Washington, DC, experts recently discussed the importance of job creation for the US economic recovery and solutions to the jobs challenge outlined in the MGI report. The panel, moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, the Economist’s Washington-based economics editor, included Byron Auguste, a director at McKinsey; Martin Baily, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; Carl Camden, CEO of Kelly Services; Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and Laura Tyson, a professor of global management at the University of California, Berkeley, and former chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The panel was preceded by comments from Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. During their presentations, several panelists refer to his remarks, which are included here as reference.