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Charts of the week: The jobs gap is closed

The Great Recession, which hit the U.S. economy in late 2007, saw the loss of millions of American jobs over the next few years. Starting in 2010, The Hamilton Project at Brookings began to calculate the “jobs gap”—the number of jobs that would be needed to return the U.S. economy to the employment rate prior to the Great Recession, but factoring in population growth and retirement. “With today’s employment report,” The Hamilton Project finds, “we can report that the national jobs gap relative to November 2007 has closed. … employment has returned to its demographically adjusted pre-recession level.”

Here are selected charts from The Hamilton Project’s research. For complete analysis, data, and more charts, visit “The Closing of the Jobs Gap: A Decade of Recession and Recovery.”

THE OVERALL JOBS GAP HAS CLOSED

“The average rate of recovery in the jobs gap after the trough of the Great Recession was 116 thousand jobs per month,” The Hamilton Project finds, “and it took 89 months to close the gap.” However, “the closing of the jobs gap does not mean that the labor market scars of the Great Recession are entirely healed.”

es_8417_jobsgapclosed_01_closing_of_jobs_gap

WHITES ARE IN A WORSE POSITION RELATIVE TO BLACKS AND HISPANICS

The Hamilton Project’s data show that while the employment rate gaps for blacks and Hispanics was worse than for whites in the aftermath of the Great Recession, white Americans today continue to face an employment gap relative to pre-recession levels. The Hamilton Project emphasizes, however, that “It is important to remember that each group’s employment rate gap is measured relative to its pre-recession level. Blacks still face higher levels of unemployment and lower levels of employment than Hispanics or whites.”

es_8417_jobsgapclosed_05_employment_rate_by_race

THE EMPLOYMENT GAP REMAINS FOR THOSE WITH LESS THAN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

“At its trough,” The Hamilton Project finds, “the employment rate gap for those with only a high school degree or less was -5.3 percentage points, as compared to -1.1 percentage points for those with graduate degrees.”

es_8417_jobsgapclosed_06_employment_rate_by_education

 

For complete analysis and data on the closing of the jobs gap, visit The Hamilton Project.

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