The U.S. economy is looking better on the jobs front as illustrated by this chart which is taken from http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com . Both the household survey and the establishment survey are showing positive gains. The estalishment survey shows a gain of 1.5 million private sector jobs and the household survey, which typically lags, shows a gain of a half million jobs. No one really knows what the actual is, but we can be certain that the US economy finally adding jobs after several years of dramatic and dislocating losses that began in late 2007 or early 2008.
The chart below, taken from www.chartoftheday.com on May 12, 2010, puts the jobs data into perspective by comparing job losses following the beginning of the most recent economic recession (solid red line) to that of the prior recession that ended in 2001 (dashed gold line) and the average recession from 1950-1999 (dashed blue line). As the chart illustrates, the job losses during 2008 and 2009 were more than three times as great as the declines that resulted from recessions during the last half of the 20th century.