Quick Takes | Jobs and Unemployment

Five-year anniversary check-in: Still nearly nine million jobs down

This morning’s jobs report was status quo. The labor market added 155,000 jobs in December, right in line with the 153,000 average of the first 11 months of the year, and the unemployment rate, at 7.8 percent, was unchanged from the revised November unemployment rate. The problem, of course, is that a status quo report in today’s labor market represents an ongoing jobs crisis. The jobs deficit—the number of jobs lost since the recession officially began five years ago plus the number of jobs we should have added just to keep up with the normal growth in the potential labor force—remains nearly nine million. At December’s growth rate the labor market will not fill in that gap until the end of 2021.

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