As US Job Growth Stalls, an Era Ends

Employment stats point to sea change in once-certain growth patterns
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Feb 4, 2008 10:47 AM CST
Job seeker Anton Yun, right, of Seattle, talks with recruiters from potential employers at the Job Fair at the Red Lion Bellevue Inn, in Bellevue, Wash., on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008. Nervous...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Workers who’ve lost a job are having a tougher time finding a new one as the economy contracts, marking an end to more than a decade and a half of rapid, sometimes phenomenal, US job growth, writes Business Week’s Peter Coy. The loss of 17,000 jobs in January, the first monthly decline since August 2003, raised concerns about job creation as well as recession.

Job creation was a given as the economy bloomed from 1991 through 2001, generating more than 24 million new jobs. Employment growth has been slower since; only 7 million new jobs were created from 2001 though 2007. And the time it’s taking workers to find new jobs also is worsening: some 18.3% have been out of work 6 months or more.