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Study finds this recovery is jobless

A job seeker, left, talks with a career counselor at the Career Link Center One Stop job center in San Francisco.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: Let's pause for a brief economic review as a way to set up today's first item. We got some inflation data this morning. Core prices at the wholesale level, that's not counting food and energy, held essentially steady last month. We'll get a reading on consumer prices tomorrow. Also likely to be benign. And the Fed says interest rates are going to be real low for the foreseeable future.

Pretty much everyone agrees we're in an economic recovery. Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson reports from New York on yet another indicator that this one is jobless.


JEREMY HOBSON: The Brookings Institution looked at the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, and compared this recovery to the ones that followed the recessions of 1981, 1990 and 2001.

HOWARD WIAL: This recovery has been more jobless at the two-year mark than the recoveries from any of the last three recessions.

That's Brookings Fellow Howard Wial who wrote today's report. He says what's interesting is that U.S. metro areas are recovering at very different speeds.

WIAL: Some places need a big economic stimulus, some places need help with economic restructuring, and some places need only a tiny amount of assistance.

Among the worst-off locales are the sunbelt states whose economies benefit from vacationers and retirees.

Chris Low is chief economist at FTN Financial. He says those areas are most affected by the housing bust, so they may sag for some time.

CHRIS LOW: After every severe recession, there's always a whole lot of migration within the U.S. to where the jobs are. That's being hampered in this recovery by the fact that so many people have mortgages that are underwater.

So they may be trapped in a town with no jobs.

Ann Owen is an economist at Hamilton College. She says some people are simply waiting for jobs that, because of the severity of this recession, aren't coming back.

ANN OWEN: Some jobs don't come back, and in the long run that's actually a healthy thing for the economy because it pushes us into doing things more efficiently.

But in the short run, as many Americans already know, it's a painful process.

I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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