Jobs recovery is stronger than past recessions - Sep. 2, 2010 By historical standards, the labor market is recovering nicely -- job growth has started earlier than in past recessions. ... "Sustained, positive job formation began earlier in this recovery than in the prior two recoveries," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute. But today's economy is different. The problem is that the damage done during the Great Recession was so severe, it will take a lot more growth than normal to dig the job market out of its hole. There were 8.4 million jobs lost in 2008 and 2009 -- roughly 7% of all jobs at the start of the recession. That compares to a loss of 3.1% of all jobs during the 2001 recession and the jobless recovery that followed, and only 1.9% of jobs lost during and after the 1990-91 recession.