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The Jobs Picture Is Still Far From Rosy

Wall Street Journal (01/20/12) Edward Lazear

Edward Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers 2006-2009, warns that while there has been good news of late on the jobs front, “the labor market is still very depressed and is likely to remain so for quite some time.” He cites the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey’s conclusion that the number of monthly hires today, at a little over four million, is just slightly higher than it was in January 2009. “Hires need to increase by over 30% to get back to 2007 peak levels,” Lazear notes, but “during the three years since January 2009, they have increased by 4%.”