The chart below from Calculated Risk illustrates one of the big reasons why this economic recovery is so sluggish. We have the worst of both types of recent recessions. The chart shows job losses as a percentage from the peak employment period before a given recession began.
Source: Calculated Risk
Lots of colored lines and it can be a bit confusing, but just look at the patterns. The royal blue line shows job losses in 1948 after the end of World Wall II. All the military men and women had been mustered out and the civilian job market was not yet going full bore. The decline was steep, but so was the recovery.
Alternatively, job losses during the 2001 recession were modest and not nearly so steep. On the other hand, the recovery was gradual too.
Now, we have severe job losses, but the recovery is gradual. Not so good. And, if you take out the U.S. Census hiring, the recovery in jobs is pretty flat. We are adding some jobs, but not nearly fast enough.