Two years ago I posted a graph with projections of when payroll employment would return to pre-recession levels (see: Sluggish Growth and Payroll Employment from November 2011).
In 2011, I argued we’d continue to see sluggish growth (back in 2011 many analysts were forecasting another US recession – those forecasts were wrong).
On the graph I posted two lines – one with payroll growth of 125,000 payroll jobs added per month (the pace in 2011), and another line with 200,000 payroll jobs per month. The following graph is an update with reported payroll growth through November 2013.
The dashed red line is 125,000 payroll jobs added per month. The dashed blue line is 200,000 payroll jobs per month. Both projections are from November 2011.
So far the economy has tracked just below the blue line (200,000 payroll jobs per month).
Click on graph for larger image.
Right now it appears payrolls will exceed the pre-recession peak in mid-2014.
Currently there are about 1.3 million fewer payroll jobs than before the recession started, and at the recent pace of job growth it will take about 7 months to reach the previous peak.
Of course this doesn’t include population growth and new entrants into the workforce (the workforce has continued to grow).
Note: There are 760 thousand fewer private sector payroll jobs than before the recession started. At the recent pace of private sector job growth, the private sector could be back at the pre-recession peak in March 2014.