US employment changes since 2004, at a glance

The Associated Press

U.S. employers added more than 5.2 million jobs over the past two years — a solid average of roughly 220,000 a month.

After 5½ years of recovery, the economy has recovered all the 8.7 million jobs that vanished during the Great Recession — and created an additional 2 million. The unemployment rate hit 5.6 percent in December, its lowest level since June 2008.

Economists expect the momentum to continue in 2015. Goldman Sachs estimates that thanks to lower energy prices, extra spending by consumers will lead to 300,000 more jobs this year than if oil prices had remained at their levels of six months ago.

Here are the job gains or losses in each of the past 10 years, along with the average monthly changes:

Job growth Annual Monthly average
2014 2,952,000 246,000
2013 2,331,000 194,250
2012 2,236,000 186,333
2011 2,083,000 173,583
2010 1,058,000 88,167
2009 -5,087,000 -423,917
2008 -3,576,000 -298,000
2007 1,140,000 95,000
2006 2,085,000 173,750
2005 2,506,000 208,833