NY Times graph. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Horizontal axis shows months. Vertical axis shows the ratio of that month’s nonfarm payrolls to the nonfarm payrolls at the start of recession. Note: Because employment is a lagging indicator, the dates for these employment trends are not exactly synchronized with National Bureau of Economic Research’s official business cycle dates.
The US unemployment rate held steady at 9.7%, but again the economy shed jobs: this time 36,000. This was better than expected after the snowstorms caused substantial disruption in the east, but it still means we have yet to turn the corner to strong job gains.