Then you realize that even with the recent growth, the country is still very much in the red.
Total non-farm payrolls are down by a net of 8.4 percent, the equivalent of nearly 13 million jobs, since the recession officially began in February. The U.S. unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, still higher than it ever was during the Great Recession. If you also include workers who are involuntary part-timers, people who have given up looking for work, and those who are still being accidentally misclassified as employed despite being temporarily laid off, the underemployment rate would be closer to 17.5 percent.
For greater context, let’s take a look at employment trends in previous recessions, using my favorite chart: