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Excerpt from the New York Times article December Jobs Report U.S. Hiring Slows but Remains Solid in December:

The Federal Reserve projects that its battle to quell inflation through raising interest rates will push unemployment up to 4.6 percent, which equates to roughly one million lost jobs.

“We’re not expecting to see job losses right now, but how do you get to one million jobs fewer over the next year?” asks Christine Cooper, chief U.S. economist at the real estate data firm CoStar. “We’re going to have to see some negative numbers."

It is not always easy for an English learner to interpret texts even knowing every word of it.

So, what is tried to be said with:

"but how do you get to one million jobs fewer over the next year"?

The "how to get" is baffling me because it is like the economist is trying to deliberately get this job loss which discords to what was said at:

"...push unemployment up to 4.6 percent, which equates to roughly one million lost jobs."

This part says the job loses are consequential and the economist saying feels like it would be a deliberate action to get theses job lost.

Is the economist trying to say by "How to get to one million jobs fewer" to keep job loss within the one million and not surpass?

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  • Pedants aside, many people would use less rather than fewer, and nearly all of us would normally put that adjective immediately after the number it modifies, rather than the "number + noun" combination: How do you get to one million less jobs over the next year? Jan 7, 2023 at 15:38
  • ...see this chart, showing how uncommon a million jobs more is compared to a million more jobs. Jan 7, 2023 at 15:42

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'How do you get to...' can be interpreted as 'How do you arrive at that figure?' (i.e. 'Please explain your calculation.')

We can use 'get to something' to mean 'arrive at something (such as a total)'.

Me: We will spend $2000 more in the next six months than we did in the last six.

Wife: How do you get to two thousand more?

Me: Well, the car insurance is due, and the power bills are going to be 20% higher, I need some new shoes, and I will have to visit the dentist.

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    Yeah, a prepositional verb "to get to", meaning to reach/attain/arrive at [something]. Going from the OPs wording of the question, they seem to have missed that crucial "to", which makes all the difference!
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 7, 2023 at 15:47
  • @Michael Harvey, about the: "We’re going to have to see some negative numbers." would this negative numbers the economist is talking about be other than one million which is already expected?
    – Bento Una
    Jan 8, 2023 at 13:53
  • @BentoUna - the million fewer jobs, and possibly other reductions. Jan 8, 2023 at 13:57

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