Jobless Recovery

DEFINITION of 'Jobless Recovery'

An economic recovery, following a recession, where the economy as a whole improves, but the unemployment rate remains high or continues to increase over a prolonged period of time. This effect may be a result of cautious businesses that add hours to existing employees in order to increase production capacity rather than hiring new workers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Jobless Recovery'

An example of a jobless recovery occurred in the early 1990s. While the American recession from the late 1980s technically ended in the first quarter of 1991, the unemployment rate did not actually stabilize until the middle of 1992.