But beneath the headlines, there's an even more important story: is the stronger labor market bringing back discouraged workers? See, the Great Recession didn't just create an unemployment crisis. It created a shadow unemployment crisis, too. These are the millions of Americans who want a job, but have given up hope of finding one. That means they're not officially "unemployed," because they're not actively looking for work, but they de facto are.
The question is whether they'll come back to the labor market now that it's looking better. As you can see below, that's historically what has happened: a lower unemployment rate tends to pull people from outside the labor force into jobs.
That's why you should pay almost as much attention to how much the labor force grows—if it does—as you do on how much employment grows. Even if the recovery stops being nasty and brutish, we need it to be a little longer to bring back all the workers the Great Recession chased away.