For a comparison between the US overall and its largest city when it comes to employment recovery lately, look at a pair of numbers that seemingly aren’t too far apart: 60,000 and 69,000. The former is the number of jobs that private-sector New York City employers added during the first four months of 2012, while the latter is the total number of jobs that were created from sea to shining sea during the month of May.

To illustrate how far apart those two numbers are in reality, do some simple multiplication and see what nationwide job growth would look like if it matched New York City’s. Even if you balanced out the private-sector gains with public-sector downsizing—which in the city’s case produces a still-impressive four-month total of 54,900—you’d need to average about 515,000 new jobs per month nationally. The actual numbers, of course, fall well short.   

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