A Deep Recession

February's employment numbers were better than expected. Economists had worried that the massive snowstorm that hit the eastern seaboard would depress employment more. As it was the economy still lost 36,000 jobs and the official unemployment rate remained at 9.7%. Nevertheless, as Brad DeLong says, the employment picture is now "getting worse much more slowly." In fact, if hadn't been for the blizzard, the economy might even be getting better—if just barely.

At The New York Times' Economix blog, Catherine Rampell has a chart that shows just how bad job losses have been during this recession—as well as why so many economists say the current crisis rivals the Great Depression. The chart shows that we have lost a far greater percentage of our total jobs in this recession than in any of the previous five. In the worst of the other recessions—the one that began Reagan's first term in office—we lost 3% of our non-farm payroll jobs. In the current recession we've lost 6% already. And in most of the other recessions, the job picture began to improve after 16 months. We're now more than two years into this recession and the jobs picture is just now apparently starting to bottom out. In only one of the other recessions did the job picture take so long to improve—and in that recession not that many jobs were lost in the first place. So far we've lost 8.4 million jobs in the current recession. We won't get back to full employment without a dramatic—and sustained—recovery. And since the economy hasn't started adding jobs yet, a sustained recovery looks like it could be a long way away.

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
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  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
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Why American history lives between the cracks

The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?

  • History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
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Jesus wasn't white: he was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew. Here's why that matters

There is no doubt that the historical Jesus, the man who was executed by the Roman State in the first century CE, was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew.

Hans Zatzka (Public Domain)/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved it. In this picture, Jesus looks kind and gentle, he gazes down at me lovingly. He is also light-haired, blue-eyed, and very white.

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Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
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