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How Many More Jobs Do We Need to Reach Full Recovery?

Beth Braverman
How Many More Jobs Do We Need to Reach Full Recovery?

The jobless rate may have hit the level signaling full employment, but the economy is still millions of jobs short of a complete recovery from the Great Recession, according to a new study.

The economy needs to create 6.4 million more jobs, about half for college-educated workers, to combat flat wages and a slack labor market that continue to plague it, according to a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

“We’ve been adding jobs for six years, but the economy is still fragile,” said report author Anthony Carnevale.

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To recover those jobs by 2020, employers must add 205,000 jobs per month. In November, 211,000 jobs were created. To sustain that kind of growth, the annual GDP must remain at least 2 percent.

There are 3.4 million fewer jobs for high-school educated workers; 2 million fewer for workers with an associate’s degree, and 1 million fewer for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The reported noted that the economy has 2 million more part-time workers than it did before the recession, and nearly a third of workers hold temporary, freelance or part-time jobs.

Related: The 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs Right Now

For the week ended Dec. 5, there were 282,000 new claims for unemployment benefits, the highest level in five months. Any number below 300,000 is considered a healthy labor market.

The national unemployment rate is 5 percent, the lowest level in more than seven years. That could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at its meeting this week.

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