In March, 21 months into recovery, the number of people employed in the United States was roughly the same as June 2009 — the month that marked the end of the Great Recession. According to nonprofit The Conference Board, the U.S. economy just can't bounce back like it used to.

The recovery is the second slowest on record since 1961. [See Jobless apps hit 8-month high]

A weak growth trend in both jobs and GDP began under the Bush administration in 1991. The Conference Board reports in the last three recoveries, neither GDP nor employment "roared back" as was typical after earlier downturns.

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