The U.S. economy created 217,000 jobs in May, with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 6.3%.
For our anemic economy, that’s good news.
It’s slightly higher job growth than we’ve seen over the past year, with job growth averaging 197,000 per month, according to the Labor Department.
But it’s taking us a long time to crawl out of the hole. With 138.46 million people in the non-farm workforce, the U.S. is finally employing more people than it did in January 2008, when the workforce started rapidly shedding jobs.
However, the working-age population has grown by 14.5 million since then, according to the Economic Policy Institute. As a result, “we now need 7 million jobs to get back to health in the labor market given growth in the potential labor force since the start of the recession,” the think-tank explained in a statement. “At the current pace of job growth, it will take nearly four more years to fill in that gap.”
And millions of Americans are still waiting for that recovery.
The number of long-term unemployed has been declining steadily, for instance. But there are still 3.4 million still out of work for more than six months—more than twice the number than before the recession.