Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Job Estimates to Get Back to Nov. 2007 Unemployment

Do We Need a Federal Jobs Program?
Frank Stricker

How much do we need to increase total American jobs in 2010-2015 just to get back to the November of 2007 employment level?

1. Decline in Total Jobs in 2008-2009

8 million

2. Jobs not added in 2008-2009 to accommodate labor force growth of 1.5 million a year:

3 million

3. Jobs needed in 2010-2015 for labor force growth of 1.3 million a year:

7.8 million


4. 18.8 million, or 3.1 million per year additional jobs needed to get us back to November of 2007 (5% official unemployment) by December, 2015

How have we done recently without much direct government job creation?

5. Annual job increase during strong Clinton boom (1993-2001):

2.3 million

6. Annual job increase during weak Bush boom (2001-2007):

1.3 million

A Clinton job boom would leave us 5 million jobs short of 2007 rates. A Bush recovery would fall 11 million jobs short. Without federal action, we probably will not even match the Bush record. Economists predict that unemployment will rise for another year


1. BLS numbers (CPS/Household) on total jobs, from November 2007 through September of 2009. Result is a decline of 7.8 million. After we count October, November, and December, the total will surpass 8 million.

2. “Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, 1940 to date,” BLS.Gov, accessed on October 27, 2009. I subtracted the average labor force total for 2000 from the average for 2007 and divided by 7. The result was an average labor force growth of 1.5 million.

3. James W. Hughes and Joseph J. Seneca, “America’s New Post-Recession Employment Arithmetic,” Advance & Rutgers Report, September 2009, p. 3 and Figure 3.

5. and 6. BLS numbers (CPS/Household). Annual average job growth for Clinton over January 1993-December, 2000; for Bush, January 2001-November 2007.

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