From the Burning Platform, an interesting assessment by John Lounsbury, excerpted below:

A number of conclusions can be drawn from this study:
1. The old canard that employment is a lagging indicator is worse than wrong – it is irresponsible.
2. Normalizing the number of employed to the adult civilian population gives an appropriate measurement of relative employment. After all, one million employed for a working age population of 100 million is a far more positive economically than it would be for a population of 200 million.
3. Normalized employment indicates that there have been extended depressions in employment over the past 60 years.
Well worth visiting the link above and reading the whole story.