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Economic Review

Jul/Aug, 1992

The Case of the Reluctant Recovery

William E. Cullison

Anecdotal evidence has it that the 1990-91 downturn was a predominantly white-collar, or middle management, recession. The data, however, show that the recession affected virtually all occupational groups. Moreover, by standards of past recessions, the 1990-91 downturn was relatively mild. It is the failure of employment to recover that is unusual. Evidence presented here indicates that the economy’s behavior results from a blend of cyclical and structural factors, with the structural factors delaying the recovery.

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