Another month, another jobs report that's good, but not quite good enough.
Employers beat expectations in June by adding 195,000 new workers to their payrolls. Thanks to the government's data revisions, we know they added 195,000 in May as well, and 199,000 in April (as shown in the Washington Post graph below). Over the past year, we've averaged 191,000 per month. Over the past 6 months, we've averaged 202,000. We're nothing if not consistent.
Unemployment is still hovering at 7.6 percent, unchanged this month thanks to an influx of new workers into the labor force. Brookings projects that we'll still be above 7 percent by the end of the year. Meanwhile, there are still 2 million fewer workers on U.S. payrolls than at our pre-crash peak. If you assume we'll keep adding jobs at our 6-month average pace, we're looking at 10 to 11 months before we get back to where things were before the market fell apart.
When you account for new workers entering the labor market, the Hamilton Project projects it will still take us more than 7 years to get back to full employment at our current pace -- assuming we miraculously avoid hitting another recession during that time.