Today’s jobs report shows a familiar pattern. Private employers added jobs for the 41st straight month, yet nonfarm payroll employment remains lower than it was at the start of the recession in December 2007. It’s well below what’s required for full employment. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, but as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated recently, the current unemployment rate “overstates the health of our labor markets.” In particular, the share of the population with a job remains stuck near levels reached in the depth of the recession.
Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context. Check back soon for my full statement with further analysis.