It's becoming clear to me that what we've been thinking of as a stage in the recovery actually is the recovery. Job growth at a 1.5 percent annual rate is well below our hopes from previous cycles but its getting hard to imagine faster growth unless the government starts spending more money (ha-ha) or consumers like their finances enough to start clamoring for new homes.
In November, jobs increased by 1.4 percent from last year and unemployment eased to 7.7 percent, basically no change from what we've seen the last six months. Jobs were up 1.4 percent in manufacturing, 1.5 percent in retail trade, 3 percent in business services, 2.2 percent in health care, and 2.7 percent at restaurants. Jobs in government and construction were flat.