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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 February 2015, our nation faces a jobs gap of 4.0 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 191,000 jobs per month, which is the average monthly rate of growth since the jobs recovery began in March 2010, then it will take until August 2017 to close the jobs gap. Given a more optimistic rate of 257,000 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 September 2016.

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

The Hamilton Project calculations use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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

March 6, 2015 • 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 February 2015, our nation faces a jobs gap of 4.0 million jobs.

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The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: Photos

February 19, 2015 • Photo Galleries

On February 19, The Hamilton Project convened academic experts and business leaders to discuss the future of work in the machine age. Opening remarks were delivered by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. Following opening remarks, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, of the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and authors of the best-selling book “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” provided framing remarks. The forum also included two panel discussions focusing on labor market issues, including the changing nature of work and its implications for workers of various skill types, and organizational innovation and the importance of business dynamism in the face of such challenges. 

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The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: Panel 1 Audio

February 19, 2015 • Audio

On February 19, The Hamilton Project convened academic experts and business leaders to discuss the future of work in the machine age. Opening remarks were delivered by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. Following opening remarks, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, of the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and authors of the best-selling book “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” provided framing remarks. The first panel discussed labor market challenges, including the changing nature of work and its implications for workers of various skill types. The panel was joined by Erik Brynjolfsson, David Autor of MIT, Aneesh Chopra of Hunch Analytics, Larry Summers of Harvard University, and was moderated by Melissa Kearney.

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The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: Panel 2 Audio

February 19, 2015 • Audio

On February 19, The Hamilton Project convened academic experts and business leaders to discuss the future of work in the machine age. The second panel discussed organizational innovation and the importance of business dynamism in the face of new technology and labor market challenges. The panel was joined by John Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland, Arati Prabhakar of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Andrew McAfee of the MIT Sloan School of Management. Laura Tyson of UC Berkeley moderated the discussion.

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The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: Panel 1

February 19, 2015 • Video

On February 19, The Hamilton Project convened academic experts and business leaders to discuss the future of work in the machine age. Opening remarks were delivered by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. Following opening remarks, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, of the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and authors of the best-selling book “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” provided framing remarks. The first panel discussed labor market challenges, including the changing nature of work and its implications for workers of various skill types. The panel was joined by Erik Brynjolfsson, David Autor of MIT, Aneesh Chopra of Hunch Analytics, Larry Summers of Harvard University, and was moderated by Melissa Kearney of The Hamilton Project.

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