Bloomberg by the Numbers: 74

Employees work on the assembly line installing parts on the Duratech 35 V6 engine at the Ford Motor Co. Engine Plant in Lima, Ohio, U.S. on Friday, March 28, 2014. Ford announced it will invest $500 million to upgrade the plant to support production of the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost designed for 2015 F-150.

Photograph by Ty Wright/Bloomberg

Employees work on the assembly line installing parts on the Duratech 35 V6 engine at the Ford Motor Co. Engine Plant in Lima, Ohio, U.S. on Friday, March 28, 2014. Ford announced it will invest $500 million to upgrade the plant to support production of the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost designed for 2015 F-150.

It took 74 months for U.S. private employment to exceed the pre-recession peak of 116 million in January 2008.

Payrolls excluding government agencies rose by 192,000 workers in March, bringing total private employment to 116.1 million, according to the Labor Department.

The statistics call attention to the economy’s slow recovery as it continues to heal from the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Unemployment held at 6.7 percent in March.

“But while there has been steady progress, there is also no doubt that the economy and the job market are not back to normal health,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said March 31 in Chicago.

“The recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans,” Yellen said, noting that the 6.7 percent jobless rate is higher than it ever reached during a recession in 2001.

“Just two of the nine indicators on Yellen’s employment dashboard — payroll growth and layoffs — have returned to pre-recession levels, indicating Fed policy makers will probably keep reducing the pace of stimulus while keeping interest rates low,” Bloomberg’s Lorraine Woellert reported April 8.

See this graphic, “Yellen’s Labor Market Dashboard,” by Bloomberg Visual Data.

Woellert has more here about the private-employment statistics.

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