As of this writing in early 2015, overall new job creation has improved nicely in the past year, averaging about 280,000 jobs per month. That's not bad, but keep in mind that we need to add at least 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth.
Moreover, how many of the 280,000 new jobs per month we are creating are good jobs? Only about 8,000 per month are manufacturing jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The picture is a bit brighter for jobs in construction, which are growing at about 26,000 per month. But the fact that new single-family home construction stopped growing at all in 2014 is not a good sign for construction and real estate jobs in the near future. Jobs related to oil and gas, which had been a bright spot earlier, will certainly decline in 2015 due to lower energy prices.
Health care continues to be our best job sector, bouncing back from weak numbers in early 2014. Keep in mind, however, that these new hires are not all doctors: many are very low-paying positions—in assisted living, for example—a trend that will likely continue as our population grows older.
The lack of high-paying job growth is one big reason economic growth has been slow. In fact, average household income is still lower than in 2008. People who don't make much money don't spend much. So big growth in the stock market isn't being matched by similar growth in incomes (or the economy).
Strong and sustained quality job growth ...