The status of the labor market can't be grasped with just one or two numbers. Context matters — and there is a lot of context.
Are people who were previously jobless and discouraged now rejoining the labor force? Are people quitting or are they being laid off? Are the benefits of the labor market finally extending to groups that did not enjoy them in the earlier stages of the recovery? And when employers complain of a "worker shortage," what exactly are they talking about?
To shed light on all these questions, we speak with labor economist Betsey Stevenson, formerly the chief economist at the Labor Department and a member of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama administration.