The Jobs Calculator: Knowing what it really takes to turn things around
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the latest monthly jobs report. With luck, it’ll be fairly optimistic. But before the bloviating gets too far out of hand, you might want to get some perspective. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlantic has come up with a “jobs calculator" that lets you figure out how long it’ll take, and how many jobs have to be created, to hit any specific target for unemployment.
For example, the current unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. If you wanted to cut that down to 6 percent in 12 months, the calculator will tell you what it takes: payroll employment would have to grow by 363,813 jobs per month. In January, payroll employment rose by 243,000 — and the calculator helps put that in context. Because there are plenty of people who’ll want you to think the jobs situation is either better or worse than it really is.
(A hat tip to @AnnieLowrey on this one).