Monday, September 5, 2011

US needs years to get employment back to pre-recession levels

With the American economy years away from returning to pre-recession employment levels, Friday's news that the country failed to add any jobs at all in August is cause for concern, to put it lightly. Some states, in particular, have a very long way to go.

In order to return employment back to pre-recession levels, the U.S. now needs to create 12.4 million jobs, according to the Brookings Institute's Hamilton Project.

As in previous months’ postings, The Hamilton Project updates America’s job gap, the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while absorbing the 125,000 people who enter the labor force each month. The August “job gap” is estimated at 12.4 million jobs, up 180,000 jobs from July.

Certain states dependent on hard-hit industries such as construction will have to generate even more jobs to get back to the pre-recession days. California, for example, was largely intertwined with the manufacturing and construction sectors, and is not coincidentally the state with the largest jobs gap. Currently, the Golden State needs almost 2 million jobs to get back to pre-recession levels of employment. Compare that to North Dakota, the state with smallest jobs gap, which needs only 7,000. Huffington Post

With Obama's jobs speech just around the corner, The Hamilton Project estimates that it would take twelve and a half years to reach pre-recession employment levels assuming the country started creating jobs at the same rate during the best job-growth years of the 2000s. more