Some economic perspective on the labor market from JPMorgan economist James Glassman:
It’s going to be a while, perhaps the balance of this decade for the US economy to recover to its natural, fully-employed state. Businesses have replaced or recovered 63 percent of the nonfarm payroll jobs that were lost during the recession and the job count is only 3,200,000 shy of the December 2007 peak number of jobs. Household employment is even better. It has recovered 79 percent of the losses and is only 1,600,000 shy of the all-time peak employment count. Nonetheless, the US population has increased by 13,700,000 since the December 2007 business cycle peak and the labor force by 3,700,000 even though a massive number of discouraged workers temporarily dropped out. So, another 5 to 7 million new jobs would need to be created at this moment just to return the economy to a fully-employed state. Of course, that is above and beyond the 1,500,000 new jobs needed every year going forward to accommodate new job seekers. From that perspective, the job market is in the fourth inning of recovery.