United States Comparative Trends Analysis:
Total Employment Growth and Change, 1969-2021
Introduction
United States vs. United States
U.S.:
2021 Jobs = 201,142,600
Employment numbers remain the most popular and frequently cited statistics used for tracking local area economic conditions and trends. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) employment estimates reported measure the number of full- and part-time wage and salary employees, plus the number of proprietors of unincorporated businesses. People holding more than one job are counted in the employment estimates for each job they hold. This means BEA employment estimates represent a job count, not a people count. Also, BEA employment is by place-of-work, rather than by place-of-residence.
Total Employment, 1969-2021
Total Employment, 1969-2021
Figure 1.
Figure 1 traces the United States' annual total employment for the period 1969-2021 to illustrate total employment patterns over time. During this 53-year period, the United States' total employment rose from 91,053,200 in 1969 to 201,142,600 in 2021, for a net gain of 110,089,400, or 120.9%.
Total Employment Indices (1969=100): 1969-2021
Total Employment Indices (1969=100): 1969-2021
Figure 2.
Figure 2 shows the United States' total employment growth in a broader context by offering direct comparisons across time with . The growth indices shown here express each region's total employment in 1969 as a base figure of 100, and the total employments in later years as a percentage of the 1969 base figure.
The United States' overall total employment growth was 120.9% over 1969-2021 .
United States Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change, 1970-2021
United States Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change, 1970-2021
Figure 3.
Figure 3 highlights the short-run pattern of the United States' total employment growth by tracking the year-to-year percent change over 1970-2021. The average annual percent change for the entire 52-year period is also traced on this chart to provide a benchmark for gauging periods of relative high--and relative low--growth against the backdrop of the long-term average.
On average, the United States' total employment grew at an annual rate of 1.55% over 1970-2021. The United States recorded its highest growth in 1978 (4.42%) and recorded its lowest growth in 2020 (-3.15%). In 2021, the United States' total employment grew by 2.99%
United States Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change and Decade Averages Over 1970-2021
United States Total Employment:
Annual Percent Change and Decade Averages Over 1970-2021
Figure 4.
Over the past six decades some countries have experienced extreme swings in growth, and often such swings have tended to coincide with the decades themselves. Figure 4 again illustrates the annual percent change in the United States' total employment since 1970, but this time they are overlayed with average growth rates for the decade of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020-2021.
During the 1970s, the United States' annual total employment growth rate averaged 2.21%. It averaged 1.88% in the 1980s, 1.73% throughout the 1990s, 0.74% in the 2000s, 1.51% throughout the 2010s, -0.08% thus far this decade (2020-2021).
Job Ratios (Employment/Population): 1969-2021
Job Ratios (Employment/Population): 1969-2021
Figure 5.
The job ratios shown in Figure 5 for the United States and the nation not only portray a number of important trends, they also serves as a thumbnail guide to evaluating an economy's capacity to generate enough jobs fast enough to absorb the increasing number of workers attendant to a growing population. The job ratio is the number of full-time and part-time jobs by place of work, divided by population.
Nationally, the job ratio rose from 0.45 to 0.61 between 1969 and 2021. the United States' job ratio registered 0.45 in 1969, and 0.61 in 2021. Underlying the rising job ratio over the past several decades have been the increases in the labor force participation rates, with the number and proportion of women in the labor market playing a leading role.
An assortment of other factors can contribute to regional differences in the job ratio. They include differences in the proportion of elderly and retirees who no longer work and participate in the labor force, differences in the number and proportion of part-time vs. full-time workers, differences in industry composition, and differences in age and sex distribution and degree of urbanization. Also, a disproportionate number of workers commuting to work outside a state tends to lower its local state job ratio, while a net inflow of workers commuting to work inside the state tends to augment its local state job ratio.
Avoid interpreting the job ratio as the fraction (or percent) of the local population employed. This interpretation should only apply to the "employment-population ratio" statistic compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from the Current Population Survey (CPS).

Interactive TableTip: To augment your analysis click on the column headers in the following table to rank and/or sort the data.

   
 
United States:
Total Employment, 1969-2021
 
1969
 
91,053,200
100.0
N
0.45
1970
 
91,277,600
100.2
0.25
0.45
1971
 
91,581,400
100.6
0.33
0.44
1972
 
94,312,200
103.6
2.98
0.45
1973
 
98,427,500
108.1
4.36
0.47
1974
 
100,111,800
109.9
1.71
0.47
1975
 
98,900,600
108.6
-1.21
0.46
1976
 
101,591,200
111.6
2.72
0.47
1977
 
105,042,200
115.4
3.40
0.48
1978
 
109,686,600
120.5
4.42
0.49
1979
 
113,147,100
124.3
3.15
0.50
1980
 
113,983,200
125.2
0.74
0.50
1981
 
114,914,000
126.2
0.82
0.50
1982
 
114,163,300
125.4
-0.65
0.49
1983
 
115,645,700
127.0
1.30
0.49
1984
 
120,528,100
132.4
4.22
0.51
1985
 
123,796,700
136.0
2.71
0.52
1986
 
126,232,300
138.6
1.97
0.53
1987
 
129,548,400
142.3
2.63
0.53
1988
 
133,563,900
146.7
3.10
0.55
1989
 
136,177,800
149.6
1.96
0.55
1990
 
138,330,900
151.9
1.58
0.55
1991
 
137,612,800
151.1
-0.52
0.54
1992
 
138,166,100
151.7
0.40
0.54
1993
 
140,774,400
154.6
1.89
0.54
1994
 
144,196,600
158.4
2.43
0.55
1995
 
147,915,800
162.4
2.58
0.56
1996
 
151,056,200
165.9
2.12
0.56
1997
 
154,541,200
169.7
2.31
0.57
1998
 
158,481,200
174.1
2.55
0.57
1999
 
161,531,300
177.4
1.92
0.58
2000
 
165,370,800
181.6
2.38
0.59
2001
 
165,522,200
181.8
0.09
0.58
2002
 
165,095,100
181.3
-0.26
0.57
2003
 
165,921,500
182.2
0.50
0.57
2004
 
168,839,700
185.4
1.76
0.58
2005
 
172,338,400
189.3
2.07
0.58
2006
 
175,868,600
193.1
2.05
0.59
2007
 
179,543,700
197.2
2.09
0.60
2008
 
179,213,900
196.8
-0.18
0.59
2009
 
173,636,700
190.7
-3.11
0.57
2010
 
172,901,700
189.9
-0.42
0.56
2011
 
176,091,700
193.4
1.84
0.56
2012
 
178,979,700
196.6
1.64
0.57
2013
 
182,325,100
200.2
1.87
0.58
2014
 
186,233,800
204.5
2.14
0.58
2015
 
190,325,800
209.0
2.20
0.59
2016
 
193,425,900
212.4
1.63
0.60
2017
 
196,394,100
215.7
1.53
0.60
2018
 
200,281,200
220.0
1.98
0.61
2019
 
201,648,200
221.5
0.68
0.61
2020
 
195,301,600
214.5
-3.15
0.59
2021
 
201,142,600
220.9
2.99
0.61
Source: Calculations by the United States Regional Economic Analysis Project (US-REAP)
with data provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
September 2022
REAP_PI_SA1400_1000_PS
 
   
Copyright © 2022. Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Analysis Project (PNREAP). All Rights Reserved.

Please stay tuned...
while your request is processing:

Please wait while your request is being processed...
To offer the most comprehensive set of interactive options in support of your research, US-REAP calculates and crunches most of the data and generates the narrative and graphic analysis on demand in response to your request.
Your request will soon be available.
Just a few more seconds....Your request has been generated and is now loading the results.