Navigating this business downturn is has been difficult, but the unemployment situation is simply tragic.
I was struck today by this chart from Calculated Risk, which shows the decline in employment from the prior peak in several recessions graphed against the number of months of the decline.
(Click on the chart to make it huge.)
One look at this tells us that the road back is going to be long. I'd hate to see what this chart would look like for Michigan, with unemployment over 15%.
This lead economist Paul Krugman to suggest in his blog that we consider bringing back the WPA and CCC work programs. Giving the suffering this kind of unemployment entails, and the length of time it looks like it will be with us, I'm for it.