In the wake of the 2008 recession, it has become clear that the pattern of job creation in the United States has shifted. Building on our previous work on US labor markets and economic renewal, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) undertook the research in this report to more fully understand the employment challenge.
The primary thrust of our inquiry has been to determine the causes of slow job creation in the period before the recession and the implications for future job growth. We project how the US labor force will evolve over the next ten years and create different scenarios for job growth based on extensive analysis of sector trends. Our central finding is that a return to full employment will require not only a robust economic recovery but also a concerted effort to address the institutional and structural factors that have weakened job creation. We offer a range of possible solutions that we hope will add to the national conversation.