Coloradans breathed a sigh of relief when the BLS released June data showing the state’s wage and salary employment finally returned to the 2008 peak. (For more information about the Colorado situation, click here.)
Nationally, it is a much different story. The U.S. is still about a year away from returning to the 2008 job peak.
U.S. employment topped out at 138.1 million in January 2008. By February 2010, the number of wage and salary jobs had plunged to 129.3 million, a decrease of 8.8 million workers.
At the end of July 2013, 6.7 million jobs had been added since the trough and employment had reached 136.0 million. Slightly more than 2.0 million jobs are needed to reach the pre-recession peak, or about 77% of the jobs have been recovered.
Over the past year, jobs have been added at a rate of about 190,000 per month. If they continue to be added at that rate, it will take another 10 months (May 2014) before the pre-recession peak is reached.
As a result of the Great Recession, the number of unemployed workers jumped from 7.7 million in January 2008 to 15.4 million in October 2010, i.e. the number of unemployed workers doubled. Since October 2010, the number of unemployed has declined to 11.5 million, a decrease of only 3.9 million.
For many Americans, the recovery from the Great Recession has been painful. For another group, the recovery will never happen.
©Copyright 2011 by CBER.