Measuring the job shortfall since February 2020: Actual and counterfactual employment, January 2019–May 2024

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 151.4 NA NA
Oct-2019 151.5 NA NA
Nov-2019 151.7 NA NA
Dec-2019 151.8 NA NA
Jan-2020 152.0 NA NA
Feb-2020 152.3 152.3 152.3
Mar-2020 150.9 152.5 152.4
Apr-2020 130.4 152.7 152.5
May-2020 133.0 152.9 152.6
Jun-2020 137.7 153.1 152.7
Jul-2020 139.2 153.2 152.8
Aug-2020 140.8 153.4 152.9
Sep-2020 141.8 153.6 153.0
Oct-2020 142.5 153.8 153.1
Nov-2020 142.8 154.0 153.2
Dec-2020 142.5 154.2 153.3
Jan-2021 142.9 154.4 153.4
Feb-2021 143.4 154.6 153.5
Mar-2021 144.3 154.7 153.6
Apr-2021 144.6 154.9 153.7
May-2021 145.0 155.1 153.8
Jun-2021 145.8 155.3 153.9
Jul-2021 146.8 155.5 154.0
Aug-2021 147.2 155.7 154.1
Sep-2021 147.7 155.9 154.2
Oct-2021 148.6 156.0 154.3
Nov-2021 149.2 156.2 154.4
Dec-2021 149.8 156.4 154.5
Jan-2022 150.0 156.6 154.6
Feb-2022 150.9 156.8 154.7
Mar-2022 151.4 157.0 154.8
Apr-2022 151.6 157.2 154.9
May-2022 151.9 157.4 155.0
Jun-2022 152.3 157.5 155.1
Jul-2022 153.0 157.7 155.2
Aug-2022 153.3 157.9 155.3
Sep-2022 153.5 158.1 155.4
Oct-2022 153.9 158.3 155.5
Nov-2022 154.2 158.5 155.6
Dec-2022 154.3 158.7 155.7
Jan-2023 154.8 158.8 155.8
Feb-2023 155.1 159.0 155.9
Mar-2023 155.2 159.2 156.0
Apr-2023 155.5 159.4 156.1
May-2023 155.8 159.6 156.2
Jun-2023 156.0 159.8 156.3
Jul-2023 156.2 160.0 156.4
Aug-2023 156.4 160.2 156.5
Sep-2023 156.7 160.3 156.6
Oct-2023 156.8 160.5 156.7
Nov-2023 157.0 160.7 156.8
Dec-2023 157.3 160.9 156.9
Jan-2024 157.5 161.1 157.0
Feb-2024 157.8  161.3 157.1 
Mar-2024 158.1 161.5 157.2
Apr-2024 158.3  161.7 157.3
May-2024 158.5 161.8 157.4

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.