The drop in the unemployment rate in December was welcome, but an important reason for it was people leaving the labor force rather than finding new jobs. The jobs deficit remains large and we will need much more rapid job growth than we saw in 2010 to simultaneously bring people back into the labor force and bring the unemployment rate down to acceptable levels over the next few years.
Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context. Here is a statement on the jobs report with analysis.
See our chart book for more charts.