We need the not-so-great recovery to go on

Seneca County’s jobless rate increased from 4.6 percent in May to 5.3 percent in June. Don’t be too concerned, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz advised; the local economy still is growing, and a fluctuation is normal.

Although jobless figures can be skewed due to rounding to the nearest 100, the statistics indicated the number of people employed dropped by 300, while the number of unemployed rose by 200 and the labor force fell by 100, accounting for the balance.

The mayor is correct; it’s not time to panic. But the national jobless and economic figures deserve your attention.

Since the end of World War II, the United States has had 11 recessions – periods when the economy declined for two or more quarters. The average length of those recessions was 10 months.

The Great Recession was longer than that average – 18 months.

The 11 periods of economic growth that followed those recessions averaged nearly 5 years. The current expansion has endured for 5 years and 1 month.

Yet, we still haven’t fully recovered. The jobless rate rose from 5 percent nationally in December 2007 to 10 percent in October 2009. That rate was 6.1 percent last month.

That rate is important because the closer it gets to 4 percent – broadly considered “full” employment – the more wages tend to increase. It’s the law of supply and demand working in the favor of workers.

But you might take solace in knowing the most recent three lasted 7.6, 10 and 6 years. Hopefully, the not-so-great recovery will continue.