Job Growth by Year in the United States

The job growth by year indicates a country’s economic strength and is a good measure of economic expansion. Therefore, job creation should be every government’s top priority as financial stability depends on the country’s employment rate.

However, the coronavirus pandemic and protective measures changed the optimistic outlook and halted economic growth. As a result, many people lost their jobs, the number of job postings dropped, and employees shifted to remote work. It’s safe to say that these are tumultuous years for job growth.

How does the pre-pandemic job growth compare to that of 2021? What does the future hold? Let’s dive into this article to find the answers.

Job Creation by Year Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • In the US, 25 cities will capture 60% of job growth by 2030
  • About 6 million jobs will become available by 2029
  • 621,000 jobs were added in the education and health services sector in 2019
  • Good producing industries added 188,000 jobs in 2019
  • In April 2020, job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector plummeted by 47%
  • In June 2020, the nonfarm payrolls increased by 4.8 million
  • President Clinton added 18.6 million jobs during his term
  • The number of nonfarm payroll employees increased by 559,000 in May 2021

Job Growth Over the Years

1. Since 1991, the number of full-time workers has increased by almost 20 million.


Annual job growth data from Statista show that only 98.67 million people had full-time jobs in 1990, and that number increased to 116.31 million in 2013. After the recession, the number of full-time jobs decreased, while the number of part-time jobs increased significantly.

2. The current unemployment rate is 5.9%.


The coronavirus pandemic has had a vast influence on the unemployment rate in the US. Luckily, the situation is slowly getting better in 2021. According to job creation statistics by year, considerable job gains occurred in the following sectors — private and public education, leisure and hospitality, business and professional services, and retail trade.

3. Around 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be needed by 2025.


From the companies’ point of view, a significant problem is looming — the lack of skilled labor. According to data on manufacturing trends and job growth statistics by year, nearly 2.7 million job positions will be vacant because of the retirement of baby boomers. However, the available positions will be hard-to-fill jobs in areas that require new specializations, such as autonomously produced goods made with 3D printing and digital manufacturing.

4. In the US, 25 cities will capture 60% of job growth by 2030.


At the moment, 25 megacities account for about 44% of all employment. According to projections, that percentage will grow over the next nine years. The main reason for such a significant increase is the automation-related displacement.

5. About 6 million jobs will become available by 2029.

(HR World)

This data on US job creation by year indicates an annual growth of 0.4%, which is significantly lower than the previous 10-year estimation period (1.3%). The pandemic, which cost the US economy more than 25 million jobs, can lead to slower job growth in the next decade.

Still, job statistics show that employment will grow faster than the average in some sectors like healthcare, computer and mathematical occupations, and community and social service.

6. Nearly 1.6 million jobs in healthcare support will be added by 2029.


The healthcare industry is expected to see the biggest job growth. According to estimates, 1.6 million jobs will be created by 2029, which is a 22.6% increase. Furthermore, food preparation and server jobs will increase by 1 million, community and social service will experience a 12.5% job growth, whereas computer and mathematical fields will see a 12.1% boost.

Pre-Pandemic Job Growth Statistics

7. In 2019, the nonfarm payroll expanded by 1.4%.


BLS numbers show that the nonfarm payroll expanded by 2.1 million. In terms of average monthly job gain, 2019 was the weakest since 2010, with a job gain of 178,000. It resulted from the decline in real gross domestic product growth that was 2.3% in 2019, down from 2.9% in 2018.

8. Just 20,000 jobs were created in February 2019.


According to MSNBC’s job growth data, the US had the worst job growth in February 2019. Before the reports came in, most economists had projected around 180,000 new jobs. However, the result didn’t meet expectations. Economic analysts still haven’t figured out the main reason for such a devastating result.

9. In 2019, 621,000 jobs were added in the education and health services sector.


Data on job growth by year reveals that education and health services experienced significant job growth, adding 160,000 jobs more in 2019 than in 2018. Moreover, 352,000 additional jobs in the healthcare industry accounted for 16.5% of the total nonfarm employment in 2019 — 10.9% more compared to 2018.

10. In 2019, the leisure and hospitality industry added 144,000 more jobs than in 2018.


Furthermore, the average job growth rate shows that food services and drinking places had 250,000 new jobs YoY, with 71% jobs added in the second half of the year. What is more, these jobs accounted for 11.7% of all added nonfarm jobs.

11. The government sector added 184,000 jobs in 2019.


According to recent data on job growth by year, this expansion was primarily led by the local government job growth, resulting in 135,000 more jobs in 2019 than in 2018 (114,000).

12. In 2019, good-producing industries added 188,000 jobs.


Employment growth slowed down in goods-producing industries. In 2019, the sector added 434,000 fewer jobs than in 2018. Manufacturing is also one of the sectors where job growth significantly slowed down in 2019. The industry added only 61,000 jobs, which is less than a quarter of 264,000 added in 2018.

12. Real estate and rental and leasing acquired 66,000 jobs in 2019.


The number of jobs created by year in the rental and leasing industries was similar to those of the previous three years. The finance and insurance employment rate was also similar to that of 2018 — 83,000 compared to 105,000.

13. In 2019, the retail industry had 248,000 fewer jobs than in January 2017, when employment was at its peak.


Clothing and accessories stores lost 46,000 jobs during 2019. Furthermore, miscellaneous store retailers lost 24,000 jobs, whereas department stores lost 43,000 jobs in the same period. The job loss in 2019 is connected with the 60% increase in store closures.

The US Job Growth Rate After the COVID-19 Outbreak

14. In April 2020, job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector plummeted by 47%.


The leisure and hospitality industry was hit the hardest after the measures to stop the pandemic spread came into effect. Then, employment in the sector decreased by 7.7 million. Moreover, a significant decrease was noted in food services and drinking places that lost 5.5 million jobs. The arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors lost 1.3 million jobs, whereas employment in the accommodation industry decreased by 839,000.

15. With 15.4%, Hawaii experienced the most significant decline in job growth between 2019 and 2020.


According to job growth statistics by state, all states experienced a significant decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Job growth in Idaho and Utah decreased by 0.7% and 1.6%, respectively. Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, and North Carolina faced a decline of 4.3% each. The most notable decline happened in Hawaii, followed by Nevada (10.4%) and New York (10.3%).

16. In April 2020, the economy lost 20.5 million jobs.


As businesses started shutting down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate reached 14.7%. The job growth per year rate was at its lowest month-to-month level since January 2011.

17. Employment in child care services plummeted by 336,000.


The child care industry also experienced significant job losses, led by the social assistance sector that noted a decline of 651,000 jobs. Moreover, employment in private education fell by 457,000 in April 2020, whereas the individual and family services faced a loss of 241,000 jobs.

18. Employment declined by 1.4 million in the healthcare industry.


The healthcare industry was also one of the sectors that were hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak. Job gains by year decreased by 1.4 million in April 2020, with dentists’ offices noting the most significant decline of 503,000. Furthermore, physicians’ jobs number fell by 243,000, and other healthcare practitioners saw a decrease of 205,000 jobs.

19. In June 2020, the nonfarm payrolls increased by 4.8 million.


Following the US reopening from the pandemic in June 2020, the nonfarm payrolls rose much more than the expected 2.9 million. What is more, the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, which is also better than the projected 12.4%.

20. The leisure and hospitality industry saw 2.1 million jobs in June 2020.


The leisure and hospitality industry had a rising job growth rate by year before the pandemic halted it. However, the numbers increased again after the economy resumed in June 2020, when the industry accounted for 40% of the total job growth. Furthermore, employment in the retail trade sector also increased, adding 740,000 jobs. Education and health services gained 568,000 jobs, and other services added 357,000 jobs.

21. The employment rate increased by 661,000 in September 2020.


Deeper into 2020, the economic activities resumed, and the job growth outlook improved. In September 2020, the unemployment rate declined to 7.9%. Moreover, leisure and hospitality experienced the most significant employment increase during that month, adding 318,000 jobs.

Job Growth in 2021

22. In February 2021, there were 8.4 million jobs less than in February 2020.


The labor market drastically improved at the beginning of 2021, but its rate is still way lower than before the pandemic. In February, there were 1.4 unemployed people for every job opening, which is 0.82 more than 12 months ago.

23. The number of job openings increased by 268,000 since February 2021.


The number reached 7.4 million, noting the highest rate of job creation by year since January 2019. Additionally, this number is 5.1% higher than before the pandemic. The healthcare and social assistance industry saw 233,000 job openings. Furthermore, there were 104,000 new jobs in the accommodation and food services sector that was hit hard by the pandemic.

24. In April 2021, job openings hit a record of 9.3 million.


According to data on job growth by month in 2021, that was way above 8.3 million job positions opened in March. The greatest percent of job openings was in the leisure and hospitality sector — 32.7%.

This increase in job openings happened during the month when hiring was very low — 278,000, although experts predicted at least 1 million. Moreover, the hire rate of 4.2% remained unchanged from the previous month.

25. Between February 2020 and May 2021, state and local government employment was down 1.2 million jobs.

(Carsey School of Public Policy)

State government employment experienced a significant drop during this period — 5.3%. Looking closer at the job growth statistics by state, we can see that Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Hawaii have reduced employment by more than 10%.

In addition, employment in the local government sector decreased by 6.2% in the same period, with New Mexico, California, and Vermont seeing a reduction of over 10%.

26. The number of nonfarm payroll employees increased by 24,000 in May 2021.


The number increased from 559,000 to 583,000, and the unemployment rate sat at 5.8%. Throughout the month, the number of people on temporary layoff was unchanged at 1.8 million, which was considerably better compared to April 2020, when 18 million workers were on temporary layoff.

US Job Growth by Year During Presidential Terms

27. President Clinton added 18.6 million jobs during his term.

(The Balance)

At the beginning of President Clinton’s term, 119 million people were employed. At the end of his term in December 2020, 137.6 million people had a job. He created 2.85% more jobs per year during his first term and 2.33% during his second term. Moreover, the number of welfare recipients fell by 59% — from 12.2 to 4.96 million people.

28. Bush could muster about 31% of Clinton’s feat with just 5.7 million new job opportunities.

(The Balance)

During President Bush’s first term, only 0.02% of new jobs were created by year. During his second term, he added 0.24% of new jobs. However, these numbers are highly impacted by the recessions during which he led the country. During his last year in office (2008), he lost about 3 million jobs.

29. Obama improved on Bush’s record, taking it to 8.9 million in eight years.

(The Balance)

Coming post-recession, President Obama created the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Between June 2009 and December 2016, he created 12.2 million jobs, adding 0.22% new jobs by year during his first term and 1.86% during his second term. In total, the workforce increased by 8.7% after the end of Bush’s administration.

30. Donald Trump ended his presidential term with 142.6 million jobs, 10 million fewer than before the pandemic.

(Reuters, Trump White House)

During his presidential term, Donald Trump decreased the unemployment rate to a 50-year low, and the number of jobs created by year was at a record high. America gained 7 million new jobs, taking the number of employed Americans to 160 million. However, things changed after the coronavirus stroke, forcing job loss all over the country.

31. The US economy has gained more than 1.5 million jobs since President Biden’s term started.


This is a record-high for the first 100 days of any presidency. As the economy started bouncing back from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, America began to gain 500,000 jobs a month on average. There are still 8 million fewer jobs than pre pandemic, but the outlook for economic recovery is positive.

Job Growth by Year Statistics — The Future Outlook

In the post-epidemic economy, the US government works hard to lower the unemployment rates, support workers, and facilitate hiring. Even though the COVID-19 crisis forever changed the market landscape and how people work, agile and adaptable industries will recoup fast.

Additionally, certain positions like wind turbine service technicians, nurse practitioners, occupational therapy assistants, and statisticians are poised to grow rapidly in the next decade, employing more people than any other occupation.

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