De Amerikaanse arbeidsmarkt zit op slot

BERKELEY – De jongste werkgelegenheidscijfers van de Verenigde Staten bevestigen dat de Amerikaanse economie zich blijft herstellen van de Grote Recessie van 2008-2009, ondanks de groeivertraging waarmee de andere G20-landen worden geconfronteerd. Het tempo van de banengroei in de particuliere sector is tijdens deze herstelperiode feitelijk veel sterker geweest dan tijdens de opleving na de recessie van 2001. Het is vergelijkbaar met het herstel van de recessie van 1990/'91.

De afgelopen 31 maanden is de werkgelegenheid in de particuliere sector met 5,2 miljoen arbeidsplaatsen gegroeid. Het werkloosheidscijfer is nu voor het eerst in bijna vier jaar onder de 8 procent gezakt. Maar het werkloosheidscijfer ligt nog steeds ruim twee procentpunten boven de langetermijnwaarde die de meeste economen als normaal beschouwen wanneer de economie bijna op volle toeren draait.

Bovendien bedraagt het aantal langdurig werklozen (27 weken of langer) ongeveer 40 procent van het totaal – het laagste percentage sinds 2009, maar nog steeds veel hoger dan in de voorgaande recessies sinds de Grote Depressie, en ongeveer het dubbele van wat het op een normale arbeidsmarkt zou zijn. De Amerikaanse arbeidsmarkt is dus, ook al is zij aan de beterende hand, nog lang niet gezond.

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