Let’s keep it simple. For the past three decades, US private sector jobs have grown by about 1.8%-2.0% a year. But that’s not been happening since the Great Recession. Private sector jobs fell sharply in 2008 and 2009. And in 2010, for instance, the first full year of recovery, private sector jobs grew by just 1.2%. Last year growth was 1.9%, with 2012 looking about the same.
Not only do we need another 4 million private sector jobs to get back to the pre-Great Recession level, but we need a lot more to get private sector jobs back to the pre-Great Recession trend (as the above chart reflects).
A whole lot more. If the US economy had been generating jobs at its usual pace since 2007 until the present, the US would have roughly 15 million more private sector jobs right now. (Other folks calculate it a bit differently, but basically the range is between 13 million and 16 million.)
That’s the true jobs gap. And unless we get a period of above average economic growth and job creation, that gap will close only ever-so slowly. By one measure, not until after 2025: