Jobless Recovery

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated November 4, 2020

What is Jobless Recovery?

A jobless recovery refers to a sustained economic upturn accompanied by persistent or increasing unemployment levels.

How Does Jobless Recovery Work?

The New York Times first used the term "jobless recovery" in the 1930s to express a span of time during which the economy experiences growth, but the employment level does not. Analysts suggest that this is because employers find it more effective to allocate more production hours and work among their existing labor force rather than hire additional staff.
For example, suppose that unemployment reaches 10% during a recession. Within an 18-month period following this recession, the economy grows by 5%. If the unemployment level remains at or near 10%, the recovery qualifies as a jobless recovery.

Why Does Jobless Recovery Matter?

An economic recovery brings a sense of optimism to consumers. A jobless recovery does not have this effect because those who were affected by unemployment during the recession continue not to benefit despite overall growth.

Activate your free account to unlock our most valuable savings and money-making tips
  • 100% FREE
  • Exclusive money-making tips before we post them to the live site
  • Weekly insights and analysis from our financial experts
  • Free Report - 25 Ways to Save Hundreds on Your Monthly Expenses
  • Free Report - Eliminate Credit Card Debt with these 10 Simple Tricks
Ask an Expert
All of our content is verified for accuracy by Paul Tracy and our team of certified financial experts. We pride ourselves on quality, research, and transparency, and we value your feedback. Below you'll find answers to some of the most common reader questions about Jobless Recovery.
Be the first to ask a question

If you have a question about Jobless Recovery, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.

If you have a question about Jobless Recovery, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question Read more from Paul
Paul Tracy - profile
Ask an Expert about Jobless Recovery

By submitting this form you agree with our Privacy Policy

Don't Know a Financial Term?
Search our library of 4,000+ terms