Labor market conditions are significantly better than they were in the depths of the Great Recession in 2008-09. Nevertheless, nonfarm payroll employment is not yet back to where it was at the start of the recession in December 2007, unemployment is still much too high — especially long-term unemployment — and the share of the population with a job remains well below what it would be in a normal labor market. The jobs market is not strong enough to justify policymakers’ letting emergency federal unemployment insurance expire.
Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context. Click here for my full statement with further analysis.