A jobless recovery is an economics term used when the economy has started to grow after reaching the bottom of a recession, but unemployment remains high and there is still either continuing net job loss or little net job creation. Historically, many recoveries in the United States have had increasing unemployment for several months after the first signs of positive GDP growth. However subsequently, some recoveries have followed a "V-shape" where employment growth picks up rapidly, whereas other recoveries have had slow employment growth.
In the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployment remained stubbornly high even after most sectors of the economy had recovered. Unique economic circumstances are sometimes mischaracterized as jobless recoveries. While the economy lost jobs when there was positive GDP growth from 2001-2003, there was no recession according to the traditional definition of two consecutive quarters of negative growth. On the 2001-2002 stock market crash, Phil Gramm said, "We inadvertently stimulated an industry that was already in boom conditions. This changed everything. It changed consumption behavior, it changed lending behavior." 
- see Richard J. Jensen, "The Causes and Cures of Unemployment in the Great Depression," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 19 (1989) 553-83. online at JSTOR
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Time: Phil Gramm Says the Banking Crisis Is (Mostly) Not His Fault