The US economic recovery reached another milestone today, as figures showed that employers added 217,000 jobs in May, meaning the American economy has finally recovered the 8.7 million jobs it lost since the Bush Recession of 2008.
At 138.5 million, the US employment rate has exceeded its pre-recession levels for the first time in five years. While the recovery will be welcomed by both political parties, USA Today noted that the recovery is still below what would be hoped for when the growth in population and the labor force is taken into account.
May also saw another milestone: for the first time since 2000, job growth has exceeded 200,000 for four consecutive months. USA Today noted other positive indicators which show that the US economy is slowly approaching something like its pre-recession level:
“Some other labor market indicators were encouraging. A broader measure of pain in the job market that includes part-time employees who prefer full-time jobs, Americans who’ve given up looking for work and the unemployed — dipped to 12.2% from 12.3%.
And the number of Americans out of work at least six months dropped by 78,000 to 3.4 million. The long-term unemployed still make up 34.6% of all the jobless.”
Despite entrenched Republican opposition, President Obama has made the US economic recovery his top priority alongside the implementation of his healthcare reform. The figures suggest that these efforts may finally be starting to pay off. While there is a great deal more to be done to secure both the recovery and to prevent a repeat of the disaster of 2008, these latest figures suggest that the United States is moving into a position to secure and strengthen its economic recovery.