The U.S. economy lost more than 8.7 million jobs, representing 6.3 percent of total U.S. payroll employment, on net, during the Great Recession. But while the recovery from this very deep recession began in June 2009, the first net increase in payrolls did not occur until March 2010, eight months into the recovery. In recent months, payroll job growth in the U.S. has picked up.1 For the first seven months of 2013, payrolls have risen by 193,000 jobs per month, up from 183,000 per month in 2012. But as of July 2013, the U.S. still has 23 percent fewer jobs, about 2 million fewer, than it had when the Great Recession began over five years ago. If job growth continues at its current pace, it will take another year or so for employment to return to its prior peak, which occurred in January 2008. In contrast, at a similar point during the recoveries after the 1990-91 and 2001 recessions, the U.S. had added almost 9 million and almost 4 million jobs, respectively, on net.

  1. The data used here are through July 2013 for the nation and June 2013 for the tri-state region comprising Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, as of August 4, 2013. Note that these data are subject to revision.