The December jobs report is out, and the numbers are pretty disappointing.
Last month brought in 74,000 jobs, which is the lowest number in 2013. However, just because December growth was slow doesn't mean we need to panic about our economy in 2014 just yet.
Overall in 2013, we gained more than two million jobs, matching growth in 2012. Some things we should be aware of, however, are that only about 63 percent of our adult population is working right now. That's the lowest number since the 1970s. Our unemployment rate has dropped lower, but that only counts the people actively looking for work, and that means that many more have given up the search.
West Virginia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and we can thank expansion in our oil and gas industries for that. WVU economist John Deskins said he expects growth will remain steady over the next few months.
"Never read too much into one month," Deskins said. "I don't think economists forecast this lower rate of job growth to continue, and I think we expect this is a blip on the radar, and we will return to that stronger rate that's something more like 180,000 a month in coming months."
Deskins also said that it could take ten years from the start of our recession to get back to our pre-recession state.