December 6, 2021

Job Growth

On April 3, 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 701,000 jobs were lost in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic (figure was later revised to -881,000). This brought an abrupt end to the longest stretch of job creation in United States history. Beginning in October of 2010 during the Obama presidency, the U.S. recorded an unprecedented 113 consecutive months of job growth. Though the economy had exhibited some signs of weakness over the last year and barely made it over the threshold a year earlier when only 1,000 jobs were created in February of 2019, the pandemic was the ultimate spoiler. 

Job Growth

Throughout the country’s history long stretches of job creation have come and gone, but nothing comes close to the record set over the last decade. The second longest streak was 48 months during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies from 1986 to 1990. This is where Bill Clinton may want to chime in and have a word. During his presidency, the country would have had a stretch of 86 consecutive months if it wasn’t for a blizzard shutting down the Federal Government in D.C. for a week in January of 1996.

During the first week of every month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the nation’s ​​​​​​​​​Job Growth figures. When analyzing this indicator, it’s important to note that the figure is related only to new “payroll” jobs and self-employed businesses are not factored into the equation. Due to its rather punctual reporting, job growth statistics are also viewed as preliminary measurements upon first report and are revised at a later date as more data comes in. In other words, the initial report should be treated as a best estimate. In order for the economy to remain stable economists generally look for job growth to be above 100,000 jobs per month. However, for a more prosperous economy at least 200,000 jobs created over a given month is the ideal scenario. The table and graph below break-down the monthly average and total of the United States’ Job Growth numbers.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | 2020 : 1970 | all employees, total non-farm, seasonally adjusted, units : thousands (214 = 214,000).
Years 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970
January 214 269 121 185 73 191 175 191 354 19 2 -784 11 228 280 150 181 108 -130 -11 233 106 263 220 -4 336 281 299 41 -111 363 263 92 169 123 265 443 219 -330 90 128 137 184 242 486 -359 69 349 332 73 -65
February 251 1 406 188 263 271 166 278 262 212 -92 -743 -79 81 308 258 56 -136 -116 91 119 418 204 312 423 196 186 250 -58 -321 236 266 461 241 115 131 484 -73 -2 72 83 247 354 298 313 -375 154 397 207 -58 129
March -1,373 147 176 129 229 71 254 139 240 235 181 -800 -49 235 310 124 317 -212 -19 -42 472 107 148 315 254 210 461 -50 54 -160 209 194 275 245 87 339 272 173 -129 105 111 424 512 403 232 -270 42 270 296 53 146
April -20,787 210 137 197 187 284 325 191 82 314 231 -695 -240 49 158 362 269 -55 -94 -284 292 370 278 296 165 162 344 302 154 -210 42 170 243 335 187 196 363 274 -284 73 -145 -62 702 337 244 -188 86 171 218 176 -103
May 2,699 85 278 155 42 331 218 222 100 101 540 -342 -177 151 39 172 283 19 11 -53 217 211 402 260 328 -20 335 272 130 -115 153 122 230 229 127 274 306 280 -43 13 -429 372 347 360 20 164 167 193 307 211 -224
June 4,800 182 219 216 267 174 326 181 73 236 -139 -467 -171 76 81 252 99 -2 50 -111 -44 281 232 268 283 237 317 181 66 85 17 114 364 172 -93 147 381 377 -242 194 -319 319 441 400 64 -103 55 239 289 7 -95
July NA 194 136 215 354 302 232 112 152 60 -84 -340 -196 -31 195 354 55 -3 -94 -122 175 325 129 297 246 94 372 306 78 -42 -32 42 224 347 318 189 310 416 -344 111 -261 109 254 346 171 249 32 26 -49 61 24
August NA 207 244 184 135 125 188 242 172 126 -5 -183 -278 -23 174 202 89 -42 -3 -149 -6 155 339 -18 184 254 286 151 132 18 -208 51 124 173 115 192 243 -308 -158 -36 259 83 279 241 157 383 -17 255 432 58 -116
September NA 208 80 18 269 155 309 187 187 233 -65 -241 -460 80 149 68 156 105 -86 -257 123 203 208 492 211 241 351 242 34 26 -98 249 339 227 346 205 312 1,118 -180 -88 114 27 138 457 188 75 -9 108 123 241 7
October NA 185 201 267 145 306 252 225 159 204 268 -199 -481 79 9 89 354 200 127 -317 -2 405 202 344 255 156 211 285 180 21 -151 107 263 491 187 188 285 273 -276 -97 277 154 335 268 19 312 20 331 410 28 -423
November NA 261 134 225 151 237 291 264 156 132 125 12 -727 110 211 338 56 20 -13 -312 205 289 277 306 296 144 411 251 133 -61 -153 276 341 234 187 210 353 355 -121 -209 257 92 435 373 329 145 -365 313 299 205 -112
December NA 184 182 130 230 273 268 69 239 202 72 -269 -706 108 186 156 121 114 -143 -160 153 306 365 314 182 145 296 330 223 32 -48 84 281 289 201 166 125 355 -15 -276 196 99 280 237 208 332 -613 111 295 262 383
Monthly Total -14,196 2,133 2,314 2,109 2,345 2,720 3,004 2,301 2,176 2,074 1,034 -5,051 -3,553 1,143 2,100 2,525 2,036 116 -510 -1,727 1,937 3,176 3,047 3,406 2,823 2,155 3,851 2,819 1,167 -838 330 1,938 3,237 3,152 1,900 2,502 3,877 3,459 -2,124 -48 271 2,001 4,261 3,962 2,431 365 -379 2,763 3,159 1,317 -449
Monthly Average -2,366 178 193 176 195 227 250 192 181 173 86 -421 -296 95 175 210 170 10 -43 -144 161 265 254 284 235 180 321 235 97 -70 28 162 270 263 158 209 323 288 -177 -4 23 167 355 330 203 30 -32 230 263 110 -37