The unemployment rate has fallen considerably over the past half year or so, a whopping 0.8 percentage point since August.
What makes reports like today's particularly encouraging is that we're also seeing broader measures of unemployment decline as well. The economic downturn wasn't just about job losses in a particular sector of the economy; as companies cut back, even employed people found it more difficult to get full-time work. But since October, we've also seen the broadest measure of underemployment fall from 16% to 14.9% today.
As I explained in this morning's market preview, an improving employment picture is vital for banks such as JPMorgan
The economy still has a long way to go. It'll likely take years even at today's clip to make it back to full employment. So this isn't the time for our leaders to get complacent and lose focus. But the steadily improving jobs market sure is good news.
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