From the WSJ:
The slack job creation isn’t as bad if you average it with the revised figures since December. The average job growth for the last four months is 181,000, and 169,000 over the last year. Nonetheless, in the 45 months since the recession ended, job creation has averaged 113,000 fewer jobs a month than in a normal recovery, according to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee.
If job creation had kept pace with a typical expansion, about 4.2 million more Americans would be collecting a paycheck. The March decline is especially disappointing given the stock market’s strong run and other signs of revived confidence.
As I’ve mentioned many times on the blog before, job growth around the 150,000 mark per month is not actually job growth. The population of the country grows at about one-percent per year. Right now, with our population is somewhere around the 330 million mark, it takes about 165,000 jobs created per month just to keep up with this level of growth. (Assuming a workforce participation rate around 60%.) In previous employment posts, the number was 145,000 per month. And this number is just an average, population growth varies month to month and you have to make some accounting for our aging population.
Still, averaging 169,000 jobs a month over a year means the economy is barely growing enough to support the growing population. That is not a recovery. It’s a floor. We hit rock bottom, and stayed there, eventually we started moving sideways. And this stretch of negligible, meaningless growth IS the recovery. I hate to think what our next correction is going to look like.