While I didn't like all the data in the jobs report, the media seems to have taken the report as a lot worse than it is.
"A snail's pace" is a phrase I'm seeing thrown around.
1) There's a major, major shift going on in the jobs market both because of boomers and the results of the 2008 downturn. The most key point, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has studied this, is Boomers are effectively lowering the participation rate in the economy.
Due to the fact that they are retiring, leaving the labor force voluntarily, and so on. This increases the outside the labor force population, lowers the participation rate. The study shows the vast majority of the decline in recent years, has been from this.
Study reveals since 1999 peak, just under half the decline is from shifting demographics. In recent years, this has accelerated as Baby Boomers reach key milestones for SS (2007 and 2012, early and full benefits).
2) US population growth has slowed. Immigration rates are lower and one impact of the great recession was a decline in decisions to have kids. While long term, we need to be above 2 TFR (total fertility rate), short term, that means we don't need as many jobs.
3) Actually measuring the the increase in the working age non-institutional civilian population of the last few years shows that we need to create something around 100k jobs a month to tread water (i.e. create the amount of jobs needed to keep up with working age population growth).
So from the report.
Total private payrolls will show in two measurements (both seasonally adjusted a non-seasonally adjusted) about 2 million new private sector jobs in the last year.
Seasonally adjusted = 1.974 million
Non-Seasonally adjusted = 1.963 million
(And people constantly complain about the seasonally adjusted vs non-seasonally adjusted numbers....)
So what I see is 2 million new private sector jobs in the last year and we have lots of drag from public sector (government is letting teachers go, postal workers, federal workers, etc, etc). It's not really a "snail's pace", while the economy isn't creating enough to rapidly lower the unemployment rate, it is about 800k more jobs than are needed each year, which is enough to lower than unemployment rate in a true way by about 0.5% a year.
Which, implies a long recovery back down to 6%-6.5% (which I would expect to be the bottom in our economy today).