COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After dramatic losses, how long will it take for Ohio’s private sector job market to recover from the pandemic and shutdown? One public policy think tank estimates nine years and that’s their best case scenario.

“We have a long way to go,” said Matt Mayer with Opportunity Ohio, a conservative think tank that examines state public policy.

The organization is giving a grim outlook for Ohio’s private sector workers.

“2020 has now had more layoffs in four and a half months, than any previous year, for the entire year,” Mayer said.

April’s unemployment rate was 16.8 percent, with more than a million people losing their jobs in the last two months.

Using a formula to analyze trends of U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, Mayer estimates nine years as the soonest Ohio recovers. The worst case scenario is far longer.

“The worst-case scenario is April of 2046, so we are talking 26 years from now we will get back to the job number we had before the pandemic hit,” Mayer said.

While no one can completely predict the future, Mayer believes it will depend on how Ohio recovers in the comings months, in a steep incline of new jobs, or a slow curve.

“I think the hope is that we are going to see a V (shaped) recovery, because the pandemic is more like a natural disaster than it is like a traditional recession,” Mayer said.

According to Mayer and his estimation, the recovery time will most likely be somewhere between the worst and best scenarios, which means about 12 years.

“We have fewer private sector workers now than we did in January 1990, which is over 30 years ago,” Mayer said. “It is historically stunning. It is hard to grasp what that means.”