"Over the last several months, we've seen job growth on average of over 300,000 [per month]," he said. "That's boom-like growth and I don't think that will continue. I think we will see job growth that's over 200,000 per month for the foreseeable future, which translates into 3 million jobs, which is what we got last year and what I expect this year."
The February jobs report will be released Friday morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists expect job growth of 230,000, compared to the 257,000 jobs created in January.
Zandi expects 4.5 million jobs to be created between now and the middle of 2016, when he says the economy will reach full employment.
It's not just a matter of the quantity of jobs created, however, but their quality. Zandi says. Low-paying jobs have been a major feature of the economic recovery, holding wages back.
The latest reading on average hourly earnings will be revealed in Friday's jobs report. Amid a slew of positive economic data, wage growth has remained stubbornly low since the recession, stuck at about 2% annual growth.
Zandi says that will soon change.
"At this pace of job growth, we're working through the slack in the labor market very quickly," he added. "Unemployment and underemployment are declining very rapidly and we're getting very close to the day when labor is going to demand bigger pay increases."
He says the recent strike at the West Coast ports demonstrates the strength in the labor market. "That doesn't happen in a world where the labor market is soft."