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Jobs, Employment Market Won’t Recover Until 2017: Rutgers Study

Joseph Seneca (Rutgers Professor)

Joseph Seneca, professor of economics, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

    James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

It will be 2017 before the job market returns to healthy, pre-recession levels, according to two Rutgers professors.

The professors, James W. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Joseph J. Seneca, an economist at the Bloustein School, reason that the economy isn’t just losing jobs, it’s running a jobs deficit; that is, the economy is failing to keep pace with the population growth and demand for jobs.

By Hughes’ and Seneca’s math, presented in the report “America’s New Post-Recession Employment Arithmetic,” the true jobs deficit is greater than the 7.1 million private-sector jobs lost since December 2007. A healthy economy must add jobs to keep pace with population growth, so even stagnant job growth results in a job deficit, the professors said.

The actual employment deficit since 2007 by Hughes and Seneca’s calculus is 9.4 million jobs.

To make up the 9.4 million jobs and keep pace with growth of the work force (about 1.3 million jobs per year), Dean Hughes and professor Seneca estimate the economy would need to start adding 2.15 million jobs per year beginning in January, according to a review of the report by Steven Greenhouse on the New York Times’ Economix blog.

That’s unlikely to happen, they said, and not just because of the obvious — three months out, the economy is still on pace to lose 3 million jobs per year. Even in the economic expansion that preceded the recession, the economy added only 6.2 million jobs between November 2001 and December 2007, about 1 million per year, a hair less than the 1.3 million required to keep up with the population.

By contrast, the economy added 21.5 million jobs between March 1991 and March 2001, or 2.15 million jobs per year, and 18.4 million jobs from November 1982 to July 1990, 2.4 million jobs per year.

(Images by Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University)

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