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Winning Streak for the U.S. Labor Market - 3/14/16

America’s labor market is on a major winning streak.  Data regarding February’s performance rendered it official – this is now the lengthiest sustained period of job growth in the U.S. since the government began keeping track in nineteen thirty nine.  Since twenty-ten, the economy has added more than thirteen million jobs without suffering even a single negative month. 

That means the streak is now at sixty five months and more months of job growth appear likely.  But while it is the longest winning streak in recent history, it is not the largest.  As indicated in the Wall Street Journal, when one adjusts for the size of the U.S. labor force, the current employment expansion has added proportionally fewer jobs than others even though it has lasted longer. 

In terms of percentage job growth, the leader is the period nineteen forty to nineteen forty three, a period during which the nation geared up for war and then entered World War two.  There were also significant periods of percentage job growth during the nineteen sixties, seventies, and eighty’s. 

In terms of percentage job growth, the current employment expansion only ranks eighth since nineteen thirty nine though it is the lengthiest.  This fits in with broad conceptions of the recovery as being slow and steady.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.