There's definitely been strengthening in the job market, but it's taken a long time for (hiring) to reach even where it was in early 2001 when employment growth was decelerating. Employees are feeling more confident about their prospects, but you can also say there's still a bit of wariness.

The low pace of jobless claims suggests that the labor market is expanding at a solid pace, and that the economy has been strong enough to absorb higher energy costs.

The labor force participation rate increased quite a bit right before the recession [in March 2001] and then it plummeted, and it's been pretty flat since 2003. Normally, when there's a recovery, more people start entering the labor force [as] they see opportunities out there ... but we're not really seeing that yet.

This year, most of the strong growth will be in the first half of the year and then it will taper off. Higher interest rates will start to kick in. That will affect companies' (ability to) borrow, it will affect the housing market and all the various industries that are related to that.