The decade ahead could be a brutal one for America's unemployed - and for people with jobs hoping for pay raises.
At best, it could take until the middle of the decade for the nation to generate enough jobs to drive down the unemployment rate to a normal 5 or 6 per cent and keep it there. At worst, that won't happen until much later - perhaps not until the next decade.
The deepest and most enduring recession since the 1930s has battered America's work force.
The unemployed number 15.4 million. The jobless rate is 10 per cent. More than 7 million jobs have vanished. People out of work at least six months number a record 5.9 million. And household income, adjusted for inflation, has shrunk in the past decade.
Most economists say it could take at least until 2015 for the unemployment rate to drop down to a historically more normal 5.5 per cent. And with the job market likely to stay weak, some also foresee another decade of wage stagnation.