Eight Million Jobs Are Still Missing In America

Six years after the start of the Great Recession, nearly eight million jobs are still missing from the U.S. economy.

That’s how many more people would have jobs today if the economy were truly healthy, according to a new study released Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. (Story continues after the chart of pain.)

job gap

This estimate is based partly on how many jobs are needed to keep up with the potential growth rate of the labor force — in other words, how many jobs would be needed to employ all the people who would be actively looking for work if the economy were running at full steam. That gap accounts for about 6.6 million of the missing jobs, in the EPI’s estimate. The other 1.3 million missing jobs represent how far we still have to go before we get back to the level of peak employment just before the recession began.

The latest unemployment rate and payroll numbers are due on Friday. Economists think there’s a chance the economy could add 250,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate could dip below 7 percent for the first time since November 2008. Both numbers would be good signs — but the job market would still not be anywhere close to healed.

The lower unemployment rate would be particularly misleading, in fact, because it is based partly on people dropping out of the work force and no longer being counted as unemployed. The economy is not strong enough to create jobs, so labor-force growth is not living up to its potential. If people who have dropped temporarily out of the labor force were still looking for jobs, the real unemployment rate would be 10.3 percent, not 7 percent, according to the EPI.

real unemployment

So, yeah, a long way to go.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • 1. The first sad chart might tell most of the story. It tracks the growth in corporate profits, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and average hourly wages of the typical worker since the crisis. To quote Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. (Hint: It is your pitiful wages.)

  • 2. It is not particularly shocking that corporate profits and stock-price gains have mostly benefited the wealthiest Americans. But this recovery appears to be less fair than other recoveries going back to the Depression, judging by <a href=”http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2012.pdf” target=”_blank”>data from UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez</a>. This is a chart, with some faces, to show how the latest recovery stacks up against other recent ones.

  • 3. Saez points out that the wealthiest Americans’ share of U.S. income is higher than at any point since before the Great Depression. Unlike the Depression, though, this recovery has not brought in new policies aimed at equality. If anything, we are getting right back to the pre-crisis business of letting the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    For example, CEO pay snapped back sharply after the crisis, with corporate leaders now back to making more than 200 times their employees, as seen in this <a href=”http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-2012-extraordinarily-high/” target=”_blank”>chart from the Economic Policy Institute</a>, a left-leaning think tank.

  • 4. And the pay of the highest earners has far outpaced the rest of us, as seen in another EPI chart.

  • 5. What about the banks that caused the crisis? Don’t worry about them: Their profits are back to record highs.

  • 6. In fact, the biggest banks are even bigger than before the crisis.

  • 7. Soaring stocks and profits have widened the gap between the haves and the have-nots, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

  • 8. It might help if the labor market were better, but this has been the slowest job recovery since World War II, as seen in this famous chart updated every month by the <a href=”http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/09/august-employment-report-169000-jobs-73.html” target=”_blank”>Calculated Risk blog</a>.

  • 9. And most of the jobs created have been low-paying, according to the National Employment Law Project.

  • 10. In fact, the low-paying sectors of food service, retail and temporary help have accounted for more than 40 percent of all the job growth, according to the NELP.

  • 11. The recovery has also been uneven geographically, with only 13 states so far seeing unemployment get back to pre-recession levels

  • 12. And of course, predictably, the racial divide has been stark.

Source Article from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/09/missing-jobs-america_n_4569251.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics