Job growth data indicates further strife

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Monday, February 28, 2011 at 9:50 am | More from The Michigan Messenger

Bill McBride, the economist behind the Calculated Risk blog, sums up the uninspiring data on job growth over the last few years and how the next few will likely play out:

And we have to remember the numbers are grim:

• There are 7.7 million fewer payroll jobs now than before the recession started in December 2007.
• Almost 14 million Americans are unemployed.
• Of those unemployed, 6.2 million have been unemployed for six months or more.
• Another 8.4 million are working part time for economic reasons,
• About 4 million more have left the labor force since the start of the recession (we can see this in the dramatic drop in the labor force participation rate),
• of those who have left the labor force, about 1 million are available for work, but are discouraged and have given up.

A simple calculation: If the economy is adding 125,000 jobs per month (average over two months), it would take over 5 years to add back the 7.7 million lost payroll jobs – and that doesn’t even include population growth. Grim is an understatement.

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