Courtesy of Derek Thompson at the Atlantic, here are a few datasets to keep in mind when reading today's news that unemployment had fallen to 8.6%. (See the full article at www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/12/86-unemployment-the-good-the-bad-and-the-mysterious-in-the-jobs-report/249394/)
1. The job growth from the recent recession has been, and remains, historically low. While we may at some time reach a point that shows that we've clearly turned the corner on job growth, this is not it.
2. The vital figure, the ratio of employment to population, remains very low and has not shown an upturn historically comparable to prior downturns.
3. If job recovery improves at a rate reasonably comparable to past experience (average monthly job creation for the best year in the 2000s), we'll be back at full employment in about 15 - 20 years.