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Evolution of the “Jobs Gap” and Possible Scenarios for Growth

Any replication of this chart should be credited to The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.

Evolution of the “Jobs Gap” and Possible Scenarios for Growth

Each month, The Hamilton Project examines the “jobs gap,” which is the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the potential labor force each month. As of the end of July 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 5.7 million jobs. This chart shows how the jobs gap has evolved since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, and how long it will take to close under different assumptions for job growth. The solid line shows the net number of jobs lost since the Great Recession began. The broken lines track how long it will take to close the jobs gap under alternative assumptions about the rate of job creation going forward. If the economy adds about 175,000 jobs per month, which is the average monthly rate of growth since the jobs recovery began in March 2010, then it will take until June 2018 to close the jobs gap. Given a more optimistic rate of 214,000 jobs per month, which is the average monthly rate of job creation over the last 12 months, the economy will reach pre-recession employment levels by August 2017.

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Evolution of the “Jobs Gap” and Possible Scenarios for Growth

August 1, 2014 • Charts

Each month, The Hamilton Project calculates America’s “jobs gap,” or the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while absorbing the people who newly enter the labor force each month. In this month’s economic analysis, we have made changes to the appearance of the jobs gap chart and the methodology behind the jobs gap calculations .As of the end of July 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 5.7 million jobs.

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Opportunities and Challenges in the U.S. Labor Market - Photo Gallery

July 17, 2014 • Photo Galleries

On July 17th, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a new report about the change in labor force participation and how it relates to the underlying demographic, structural, and cyclical trends affecting the labor market. CEA Chairman Jason Furman joined The Hamilton Project for a forum in Washington, DC to discuss the report and the implications these labor force changes have for outstanding challenges like lowering long-term unemployment, raising wages, and expanding the economy's potential. Following Furman’s featured remarks, he was joined by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Princeton University economist Alan Blinder for a roundtable discussion. 

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Opportunities and Challenges in the U.S. Labor Market - Introduction

July 17, 2014 • Video

On July 17th, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a new report about the change in labor force participation and how it relates to the underlying demographic, structural and cyclical trends affecting the labor market. CEA Chairman Jason Furman joined The Hamilton Project to discuss the report and the implications these labor force changes have for outstanding challenges like lowering long-term unemployment, raising wages, and expanding the economy's potential. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin opened the forum.

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Opportunities and Challenges in the U.S. Labor Market - Featured Remarks by Jason Furman

July 17, 2014 • Video

On July 17th, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a new report about the change in labor force participation and how it relates to the underlying demographic, structural and cyclical trends affecting the labor market. CEA Chairman Jason Furman joined The Hamilton Project to discuss the report and the implications these labor force changes have for outstanding challenges like lowering long-term unemployment, raising wages, and expanding the economy's potential. 

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Opportunities and Challenges in the U.S. Labor Market - Roundtable Discussion with Blinder, Furman, and Rubin

July 17, 2014 • Video

On July 17th, The Hamilton Project hosted Jason Furman, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), to discuss the release of a new CEA report about the change in labor force participation. Following his featured remarks, Furman was joined by Robert E. Rubin, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Alan Blinder, Professor of Economics & Public Affairs at Princeton University and a former Federal Reserve Board Vice Chair, for a roundtable discussion. 

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