Tuesday, April 08, 2014

When will total payroll employment exceed the pre-recession peak?

by Bill McBride on 4/08/2014 03:57:00 PM

Total payroll employment is getting close to the pre-recession peak.

Of course this doesn't include population growth and new entrants into the workforce (the workforce has continued to grow and is now 2.2 million higher than in January 2008). Since January 2008, the Civilian noninstitutional population1 has increased by 12.8 million people, although the prime working-age population (25 to 54) has actually declined by 1.5 million.


Still reaching a new high in employment will be a significant milestone in the recovery.

The graph below shows both total non-farm payroll (blue, left axis) and private payroll (red, right axis) since January 2007. Both total non-farm and private payroll employment peaked in January 2008.

The dashed line is the pre-recession peak.

Employment Projection Click on graph for larger image.

The pre-recession peak for total non-farm payroll employment was 138.365 million. Currently there are 137.927 million total non-farm payroll jobs, or 436 thousand fewer than the pre-recession peak.

It is possible that total non-farm payroll will be at a new high in May.

The pre-recession peak for private payroll employment was 115.977 million. As we discussed last week, currently there are 116.087 million private payroll jobs, or 110 thousand above the pre-recession peak.

1 From the BLS: "Civilian noninstitutional population (Current Population Survey) Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces."

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