The employment outlook is getting worse. The government reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped from 4.9% to 4.8% last month, but the numbers behind the numbers show that it wasn't a good month for payrolls. The report on non-farm payrolls showed a loss of 63,000 jobs. Over the last four months, the economy has created just 16,000 new jobs. The economy needs to create 200,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.
The number of jobs as a percent of the civil labor has been declining since the end of 2006. If we had merely kept that pace, then the economy would have over 1.6 million more jobs right now.