Job market woes predated recession, experts say

For the more than 14 million unemployed Americans, June was a discouraging month. Private companies added only 57,000 jobs. And with state governments struggling - Minnesota's has shut down - nearly 40,000 government workers lost their jobs, CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason reports.

After three months in which the economy looked strong, averaging more than 200,000 job gains, in May and June it just flatlined.

June jobs: Another lousy report

"I think what happened is that business just froze," said economist Mark Zandi. "They're not laying off workers, but they have stopped hiring."

Zandi believes higher gas prices stalled out an economy still trying to get back to full speed.

"The size of the economy is actually bigger than it was before the recession hit. However, we're lucky if we've got a quarter of the jobs back," said economist Lakshman Achuthan.

Achuthan sees a fundamental shift in the economy that's affected our ability to create jobs - but says the jobs problem wasn't caused by the recession.

"Something was ailing our economy before the great recession in the jobs market," he said.

In the 1970's, 80's and 90's, the U.S. economy created more than 18 million jobs during each decade. But from 2000 to 2007, the economy added only 7 million jobs.

"The seven years before the great recession hit marked the worst business cycle we have on record as far as job creation goes," said economist Heidi Shierholz. "We have now faced about 11 years of really weak job growth."

The so-called underemployment rate, which includes those who've given up looking or been forced to work part time, is back up above 16 percent.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"