CHART OF THE DAY: Is Unemployment Muddling or Improving?

This morning’s Unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was encouraging from a headline number standpoint, but only 36,000 new jobs were added to the economy. The BLS notes:

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.0 percent in January, while nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+36,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in manufacturing and in retail trade but was down in construction and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in most other major industries changed little over the month.

Here’s how that looks compared to pre-crisis levels at the start of 2006 (Click for Larger Image):

Click for Larger Image

So, do you think we’re muddling along or improving? Share your opinion in the comments below …

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