The Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR), after examining records of previous economic slumps, has issued a report predicting that a second Bush recession this year will mean rising unemployment and lowering income for workers all the way thorough 2012. Economic downturns, the report says, hurt workers a lot more and a lot longer than they hurt companies.

CEPR economists John Schmitt and Dean Baker say, in the report, that even a mild recession this year would add 3.2 million workers to U.S. unemployment by 2010, while a severe recession would add 5.8 million people to the ranks of the unemployed. The latest unemployment figures, for December, put the number of jobless at almost 7.6 million. Before the first Bush recession, in 2001, there were 5.9 million jobless.

Their report, “What We’re In For: Projected Economic Impacts of the Next Recession” said the Bush recession would also result in 4.7 million to 10.4 million more people in poverty, and another 4.2 million people losing health insurance, bringing the total without health coverage to over 51 million. There were 38 million without insurance when Bush took office.

“For financial markets and employers recessions are fairly short-term events. For labor markets and workers, though, recessions have historically been long and painful,” Schmitt said. He said the impact of the Bush recession on workers this year would extend all the way through 2011 and possibly through the election the following year.

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