In today’s BLS report, all the job indicators show a strengthened recovery. The report marks two full years of job growth (excluding changes in employment due to temporary workers hired to conduct the 2010 Census). Over the last two years the labor market has gained back 3.5 million jobs, after losing 8.7 million in the downturn.
However, the jobs deficit remains very large. We have 5.3 million fewer jobs now than we did before the recession started, and we should also have added around 4.7 million jobs over this period just to keep up with normal growth in the working-age population. Even at the quite strong average growth rate of the last three months (245,000 jobs added per month,) it would take roughly 5 years to get back to full employment in the labor market.