Today, the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls (jobs) increased in April for an eighth consecutive monthly gain. Today’s chart provides some perspective on the US job market. Note how the number of jobs steadily increased from 1961 to 2001 (top chart). During the last economic recovery (i.e. the end of 2001 to the end of 2007), job growth was unable to get back up to its long-term trend (first time since 1961). More recently, nonfarm payrolls have pulled away from its 40-year trend (1961-2001) by a record percentage (bottom chart). In fact, the current number of US jobs was first reached in early 2000.
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