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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 September 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 5.4 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 178,000 jobs per month, which is the average monthly rate of growth since the jobs recovery began in March 2010, then it will take until May 2018 to close the jobs gap. Given a more optimistic rate of 220,000 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 June 2017.

Use our Jobs Gap Calculator to estimate different scenarios of job growth.


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

October 3, 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. As of the end of Setember 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 5.4 million jobs.

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September 22, 2014 • Video

On September 22nd, The Hamilton Project welcomed U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to deliver keynote remarks on the economics of climate change. Following his remarks, Secretary Lew continued the conversation in a roundtable discussion with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, and University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone. Hamilton Project Director Melissa Kearney opened the forum with welcoming remarks. 
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September 22, 2014 • Audio

On September 22nd, The Hamilton Project welcomed U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to deliver keynote remarks on the economics of climate change. Following his remarks, Secretary Lew continued the conversation in a roundtable discussion with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, and University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone. Hamilton Project Director Melissa Kearney opened the forum with welcoming remarks. 

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The Economic Costs of Climate Change - Event Photos

September 22, 2014 • Photo Galleries

On September 22nd, The Hamilton Project welcomed U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to deliver keynote remarks on the economics of climate change. Following his remarks, Secretary Lew continued the conversation in a roundtable discussion with Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Michael Greenstone, The Milton Friedman Professor in Economics and Director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago at the University of Chicago. Hamilton Project Director Melissa Kearney opened the forum with welcoming remarks. 
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Casting the Net: A More Efficient Approach to U.S. Fisheries Management - Audio

September 10, 2014 • Audio

On September 10th, The Hamilton Project released two new papers and hosted a forum to explore opportunities for improving the economic prosperity and long-term sustainability of the U.S. fishing industry. The forum opened with remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. A roundtable discussion was held around the new proposal by Christopher Costello of UC Santa Barbara, and included Lee Crockett, Director of U.S. Oceans at the Pew Charitable Trusts; John Mimikakis, Associate Vice President of Oceans at the Environmental Defense Fund; John Pappalardo, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance; and Captain Steve Tomeny of Steve Tomeny Charters. Melissa Kearney, Director of The Hamilton Project, moderated the roundtable. 

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