The number of people who've been out of work longer than six months soared by a record 584,000 to 5 million, accounting for more than a third of all unemployment for the first time on record.
This is an interesting situation. The unemployment rate ticked down, but that is discounting a large number of job seekers removed from the overall data. This removed about .2% to the overall unemployment rate. So although there was slight improvement in job losses, there continues to be elavated state of job losses.
Another problem is the number of hours worked. The average reported on Thursday is 33.1, a tick up of 400,000+ jobs. However the United States is still running at very low historical hourly work rates. This will lead to reduced spending, and cause retailers to hire as few workers as needed. This continued slow pace of added jobs will limit the amount of hiring that the private sector will employ.