Over the last 4 years the U.S. economy has added about 7.6 million jobs.
But as the chart below from the New York Times article Comparing Jobs in Recessions and Recoveries shows, we're still not back to where we were, jobs wise, prior to recession.
The other issue the economy is facing is the type of jobs being created. Over the last 4 years a large chunk of the new jobs have been relatively low paying services jobs. As another New York Times article - Where the Private Sector's Gain Are - points out:
... service industries have driven job growth in the recovery, adding 2.1 million jobs over the past year — 177,000 last month alone. In particular, the leisure and hospitality sector (establishments like restaurants, bars and hotels) has added workers at a strong clip, including 53,000 positions last month. The downside is that many of those jobs are part time and low pay. Average hourly earnings for employees in that sector are just $13.50.
Meanwhile many of the sectors that have traditionally created middle class jobs have seen substantial employment declines, especially construction and manufacturing.
This net result of these changes is the polarization of jobs and work. By that we mean the number of higher income jobs are growing, the number of lower income jobs are growing and the number of middle income jobs are declining.
This is a major problem for the economy (and society). It's also a topic we're spending more time researching and trying to understand. We'll be writing a lot more on this topic in the coming months.