Even with those gains, unemployment rates are still higher than before the 2007 recession, a problem “underscoring that it is critical not just to take steps to speed the recovery but also to ensure that growth is inclusive and hardworking Americans are not left behind.”
The report notes that while the jobless rate steadily declined through December, more needs to be done:
As our economy continues to make progress, there’s a lot more work to do. Though December’s job growth was less than expected, we continue to focus on the longer-term trend in the economy – 2.2 million private sector jobs added and a 1.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate over the course of 2013. Today’s numbers are also a reminder of the work that remains, especially on one of our nation’s most immediate and pressing challenges: long-term unemployment.