One of the many ways to evaluate the recovery of any recession is to look at the length of time it takes to reach pre-recession employment levels. In the chart to the right, the Pew Research Center, using data from the US Bureau of Labor statistics, shows a number of statistics about job recovery trends for the last 11 US recessions.
The chart shows that during the last recession, labeled the Great recession, there was 25 months of jobs decline. The chart notes that after 42 months, the US economy has yet to reach the pre-recession level of employment.
How does this trend compare to other recessions? The chart shows that next longest period required to reach pre-recession employment levels was 21 months and that occurred after the 1990-191 recession. The quickest recovery took place after the 1980 recession. However, that recession also had only 4 months of decline in employment.
If you look at the relationship between the number of months jobs declined and the number of months for full recovery, you find that recoveries took less than twice the number of decline months in all instances except for the 1990-1991 recession. That recession took just over two times the number job decline months to recover.
The 1981-1982 recession had a strong recovery. That recession had 17 months of decline in employment, but only took 11 months to reach pre-recession levels. The same could be said for the 2001-2003.
What implications do these findings have for the current recovery? Based on the metric of two times the months of decline in jobs, we still have another 8 months or so before the Great Recession would surpass the weak recovery of the 1990-1991 recession.
Given this national picture of recovery, what can be concluded about what is happening in Florida and, more specifically, what is happening in cities across the state.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is tracking the recovery of jobs for states and metro areas. The data compiled for Florida based on data available through August 2013 is listed in a chart to the right.
The chart shows the percentage of jobs lost in the Great Recession on the left side and the percentage of jobs created since the recovery began. For example, at the bottom of the chart you can ascertain that Florida, as a state, had a decline of 11.4% in employment, and as of August 2013, has recovered 5.6 percent of those jobs. This means Florida has recover approximately half of the jobs lost during the recession.
The chart clearly shows how uneven this recovery has been across Florida metro areas. For example, a number of metro areas have recovered over half of the jobs that were lost in the recession. Metro areas at the top of this list include Naples, Tampa-St.Pete, and Gainesville.
Under performers, those metro areas with less than 25% recovery of employment include Panama City, Daytona, Lakeland, and Melbourne.
Where is Tallahassee? The chart indicates that the Tallahassee metro area lost 9.3% of their jobs during the recession and has recovered approximately 30% of those jobs.