Quick Takes | Jobs and Unemployment

Job growth improves except—at this pace, full employment twenty years away

October’s employment report showed faster private sector employment growth than in recent months, 159,000. Other positive news was the unexpectedly modest jobs loss in state and local government, although job losses in this sector will likely worsen in future months given state and local budget challenges.
Even though October’s job growth is a step in the right direction, given the backlog of 14.8 million unemployed workers in this country, the pace of job growth is not strong enough to bring the unemployment rate down to pre-recession levels anytime soon. At October’s rate of job growth, the economy would achieve prerecession unemployment rates (5% in December 2007) in roughly twenty years. –Heidi Shierholz

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