I fell behind on Friday and didn’t have a chance to go over the jobs report, but Jim Pethokoukis did. Unfortunately, underneath the headline numbers (204,000 new jobs, 7.0%) lies a lot of suck:
1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.
2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.
3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).
4. More than 4 million Americans remain out of work for 27 weeks or longer.
5. Overall, according to the Hamilton Project Jobs Gap calculator, it will take another five years to return to 2007 employment levels even at the improved job creation pace of the past four months.
We do still have an employment crisis in this country. If it really is getting better, then I’m as relieved as anyone. But I get the feeling 2014 is going to be a another rocky year.