The recent slowdown in job losses is welcome but only marks the beginning of the difficult process of rehiring the more than 8 million workers sidelined by the recession. With unemployment still rising, payroll levels have shrunk nearly 6 percent since the recession began in December 2007. That is nearly three times the level of job loss during the last recession in 2001.
After the 2001 recession it took 18 months to restore employment to pre-recession levels. At that rate, even if the economy began adding jobs next month, employment levels wouldn’t return to pre-recession levels until June 2014.