Imagine that there are 12.3 million people who are unemployed. You want to cut that number in half without reducing the labor force participation rate. You want to accomplish this in four years. On average how many jobs must be created per month to accomplish that?
12.3 unemployed people/ 2 = 6.15 fewer unemployed people
4 years X 12 months per year = 48 months
6.15 fewer unemployed people / 48 months = 128,125 jobs per month
That’s in addition to the something between 120,000 and 150,000 jobs per month that must be created to provide for the “natural increase”. So something between 250,000 and 280,000 jobs must be created per month. Last month roughly 150,000 jobs were created.
For a graphical illustration of this see the Hamilton Project’s “Jobs Gap” reckoning.