The US economy will need more robust growth to close this gap. If future job creation reaches about 208,000 jobs per month, the average monthly job creation for the best year for job creation in the 2000’s, it will take almost 140 months (about 11.5 years) to reach pre-recession employment levels. In a more optimistic scenario with 321,000 jobs created per month, the average monthly job creation for the best year in the 1990’s, it will take 59 months (almost 5 years).The chart below shows the amount of time necessary to close the employment gap for different rates of job creation based on experience data from the decade beginning in 2000.
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The US is now enduring the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. Currently, more than 15.1 million Americans are unemployed, which compares to 12.8 million Americans at the peak of the Great Depression in 1933.
Source: Greenstone, M & Looney, A (2010, August 20), The Long Road Back to Full Employment: How the Great Recession Compares to Previous US Recessions, Brookings.
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