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This graph has been making the rounds over the last week:

The graph shows job losses from peak payroll for the last couple of recessions, plus this one, measured over the months it took to recover back to that peak. I thought it might be interesting to look at how Missouri has fared in past recessions and is faring now:

Job Loss Graph

The blue line is the 1980 recession. Job losses in Missouri began in January of 1981 and did not return to the previous peak until December of 1983. Job losses bottomed out at 42,498 below peak 17 months after Missouri began shedding jobs.

The red line is the 1990 recession. Job losses in Missouri began in January of 1990 and did not return to the previous peak until March of 1991. Job losses bottomed out at 26,057 below peak, 12 months after Missouri began shedding jobs.

The yellow line is the 2000 recession. Missouri job losses began in December 2000 and did not get back to that level until November 2006. The job picture didn’t begin to brighten until payrolls reached a low of 67,173 below peak, 30 months after Missouri began shedding jobs.

The BLS doesn’t have accurate numbers yet for our current job picture, represented here by the green line, but the trend is still pretty stark. We began losing jobs in March 2007, and we’re still losing them at an increasing clip.  The preliminary December 2008 numbers are 86,576 jobs below payroll peak, and it’s certain that we’ve lost a lot of jobs since December.

Now, these periods of job loss aren’t directly comparable, because Missouri’s population has increased and correspondingly, so has the workforce. So when I have time, I’ll chart the losses as a percentage of Missouri’s labor pool.

…The charts were plotted using BLS data found here.