That's how many more months it would take for the U.S. economy to regain all the jobs lost in the pandemic-triggered recession if hiring continues at its current pace, twice as fast as just a few months ago.
Job growth was disappointing in April and May and the economy was on track to take 14 months for a full recovery—until July 2022. But a long-awaited hiring boom finally showed up in the last two months, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the government Friday, with a gain of 938,000 jobs in June and 943,000 in July.
Using the average number of jobs gained per month over the last three months—832,000—we’d regain all of the missing jobs by February 2022, seven months from now.
The economy is now 5.7 million jobs below where it was in February 2020, before the outset of the pandemic and restrictions on businesses that caused 22.4 million jobs to disappear. Some people think there's more room for improvement, as factors holding back hiring—like trouble finding childcare and anxiety about the pandemic—might ease in the coming months. But risk remains, particularly if the delta variant harms the economic recovery, economists said.
Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Rob at email@example.com.