What Recession? Oh, That Recession

My friend Alex over at Marginal Revolution has (appropriately, to my mind) done an about-face on Minneapolis Fed graphs that he posted there earlier in the week. The graphs compared employment losses in the current recession/depression to employment losses in previous downturns, and it seemed to show that this time around wasn’t that bad.

In a Twitter comment yesterday, I demurred, calling the graphs that Alex posted "mischievous/misleading". (Not to get all technical, but the issue had to do with how the Minneapolis Fed put together its graphs, sort of a like a bizarre auto-stitch applied to unrelated data.) I put together some graphs of my own, making the mischievousness clearer, and then promptly emailed them to the wrong "Alex" (damn you Gmail auto-complete!). 

Oh well, it has all worked out in the end. Alex has now made clear that he doesn’t think much of the Minneapolis Fed employment graphs, and his new figures are more sensible than the old ones.

Whew, everyone can now rest easier in econo—blog-land.