Now -- that leads to the final question: when will the jobs come back? In order for that to happen we need to see at least one quarter of a positive GDP and probably two. That means the soonest we can expect a drop in the unemployment rate would be the a few months from now and that is only under the rosiest of scenarios. The most likely possibility is it won't be until the end of the first quarter of next year before we start to see a ticking down (and that assumes a stronger rate of growth than I think is going to happen).
Now, the overall growth rate of the US economy has surprised me. The fourth quarter's number was great. I have been expecting -- and am on the record as thinking -- US growth will be in the 1%-2% range for this expansion.
However, we had some job growth in November followed by contraction in December and a neutral reading in January.