Measuring the job shortfall since February 2020: Actual and counterfactual employment, January 2019–January 2023

date Actual nonfarm payroll employment Employment if it had continued growing at the pre-recession level Employment if it had grown with population growth since February 2020
Sep-2019 151.3 NA NA
Oct-2019 151.4 NA NA
Nov-2019 151.7 NA NA
Dec-2019 151.8 NA NA
Jan-2020 152.1 NA NA
Feb-2020 152.4 152.4 152.4
Mar-2020 150.9 152.6 152.5
Apr-2020 130.4 152.8 152.6
May-2020 133.1 152.9 152.7
Jun-2020 137.6 153.1 152.8
Jul-2020 139.1 153.3 152.9
Aug-2020 140.8 153.5 153.0
Sep-2020 141.8 153.7 153.1
Oct-2020 142.5 153.9 153.2
Nov-2020 142.7 154.1 153.3
Dec-2020 142.5 154.3 153.4
Jan-2021 143.0 154.5 153.5
Feb-2021 143.5 154.6 153.6
Mar-2021 144.3 154.8 153.8
Apr-2021 144.6 155.0 153.9
May-2021 145.1 155.2 154.0
Jun-2021 145.8 155.4 154.1
Jul-2021 146.6 155.6 154.2
Aug-2021 147.2 155.8 154.3
Sep-2021 147.8 156.0 154.4
Oct-2021 148.6 156.2 154.5
Nov-2021 149.2 156.4 154.6
Dec-2021 149.7 156.5 154.7
Jan-2022 150.1 156.7 154.8
Feb-2022 151.0 156.9 154.9
Mar-2022 151.4 157.1 155.0
Apr-2022 151.7 157.3 155.1
May-2022 152.0 157.5 155.2
Jun-2022 152.4 157.7 155.3
Jul-2022 153.0 157.9 155.5
Aug-2022 153.3 158.1 155.6
Sep-2022 153.7 158.3 155.7
Oct-2022 154.0 158.4 155.8
Nov-2022 154.3 158.6 155.9
Dec-2022 154.6 158.8 156.0
Jan-2023 155.1 159.0 156.1

Notes: Payroll employment growth averaged 202,000 in the 12 months leading up to the pandemic recession. Population-adjusted employment growth applies population growth in the latest month since February 2020 to payroll employment and interpolates in the intervening years.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey public data series.

View the underlying data on epi.org.