[quoyr]I applaud and thank you for spotting that.[/quote] No problem.
To nit pick, when looking at the same month in different years, it's more accurate to use the not seasonally adjusted data because there's no need to compensate for seasonal variations when the same factors apply. Not a huge deal but seasonal adjustment does distort the numbers a little in this case.But, now let's compare two apples instead of apples and oranges (like I did above)
The trend still bears out what the general pattern that I stated earlier, just not as drastically:
Over the last year (seasonally adjusted):
1,895,000 more people were employed.
662,000 in the 16-24 age range.
487,000 in the (IMO) all-important 25-54 age range.
746,000 in the 55 plus age range.
So, that means, of all the increase in employment in the past 12 months, only 25.6% of it was in the important 25-54 age range (even though this age range makes up 65% of the total number of employed)
The other 74.4% of the increases were for those under 25 and those over 55.
So, once again, the vast majority of the additional employment during the past 12 months was due to jobs for students and seniors (relatively speaking)...McDonald's/WalMart-type jobs.
But the trend is the same, so no real issue.
You do have to think about changes to the 55+ age group...A 54 year old with a job turns 55...that's a gross addition to the 55+ group. 55+ continued to rise in employment throughout the recessection.
And characterizing the increasse in employment as low level McDonalds/Walmart is a little simplistic and only a guess. I'm to lazy to attempt to track the changes and the employment type isn't broken down by age group, so we can't really say for sure. Real wages have been dropping so that is a sign of decline in job quality, but it could also be a function of the fact that workers aren't in much position to try to get higher salary but just get what they can.
Bottom line is that the labor market is improving, but too slowly and not well. I think you're being a little more specific than can reasonably be determined in characterizing the changes as minimum wage type. That's where I think your bias shows.