Pethokoukis | Economist: It could take 44 years to get back to full employment

During the past two years — what should be the fat part of the U.S. economic recovery — job growth has averaged about 150,000 jobs a month. While that is better than nothing and better than losing jobs, the pace of job creation is way too slow given the depressed state of the American labor market.

Take into account the following: a) we need roughly 100,000 jobs a month to tread water, b) the millions still unemployed due to the Great Recession, c) the millions of discouraged workers who have dropped out of the labor force, d) the abnormal number of part-timers who would prefer full-time work.

Put it all together, says JPMorgan economist James Glassman, “and it likely will require businesses to create 10½ million new jobs above and beyond the 130,000 needed every month to restore the economy to where it was in 2007.”

And at 150,000 jobs a month, Glassman concludes, “it would take take 44 years to absorb all the unemployment.”


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