In January the economy added a net of 157,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 to 7.9 percent. Just another blah report, right?
Well, no because as is often the case, the news is buried in the revisions to previous months:
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +161,000 to +247,000, and the change for December was revised from +155,000 to +196,000.
247,000 is a pretty good monthly jobs number and 196,000 is at least semi-respectable.
But this continues to be a horrible "recovery" for employment. We've never really gotten the historically typical run of really big job growth numbers that push employment sharply back up after the recessionary decline, as this chart from Calculated Risk shows:
(clic the pic for an even more sluggish image)
You can see the strongly V shaped pattern of many previous recessions and recoveries and also that the 2001 recession recovery, while anemic, was still much faster than this one.
At this rate we have around 2 more years before employment will recover it's pre-recession peak level.