Jobless Recovery


A jobless recovery or jobless growth is an economic phenomenon in which a macroeconomy experiences growth while maintaining or decreasing its level of employment. The term was coined by the economist Nick Perna in the early 1990s.

Jobless Recovery

What is ‘Jobless Recovery’

An economic recovery, following a recession, where the economy as a whole improves, but the unemployment rate remains high or continues to increase over a prolonged period of time. This effect may be a result of cautious businesses that add hours to existing employees in order to increase production capacity rather than hiring new workers.

Explaining ‘Jobless Recovery’

An example of a jobless recovery occurred in the early 1990s. While the American recession from the late 1980s technically ended in the first quarter of 1991, the unemployment rate did not actually stabilize until the middle of 1992.

Further Reading

  • Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery? – [PDF]
  • Jobless recovery is no recovery: Prospects for the us economy – [PDF]
  • Labor market, financial crises and inflation: jobless and wageless recoveries – [PDF]
  • Jobless recoveries during financial crises: is inflation the way out? – [PDF]
  • The labor market consequences of financial crises with or without inflation: Jobless and wageless recoveries – [PDF]
  • Low‐wage single‐mother families in this jobless recovery: Can improved social policies help? – [PDF]