America's jobless rate stands at 8.5 percent and unemployment rolls seem to grow by more than 600,000 each week. Since December 2007, the start of the recession, the country has lost 5.1 million jobs, with almost two-thirds of those losses happening over the last five months.
But those grim figures aren't the greatest barometer for economic recovery, according to Barron's associate editor Michael Santoli.
"Employment will not come back until after the economy's actually growing again on a statistical basis and after the stock market does. That's what happens after recessions. Businesses are late to fire and late to hire," Santoli told CBS' Early Show Wednesday.
Santoli also expects the stock market to continue to fluctuate as it looks for some economic certainty.
"We have a very volatile period. What the market is struggling with is looking for these early signs that the economy is stabilizing – that the rate of decline in [unemployment] and business activity is coming to a close."
And with any recovery, timing is key. Just because the immediate news isn't rosy, it doesn't mean the economy isn't regaining its footing.
"I think we should remind everybody it's been six months that the Federal Reserve and the government's been throwing money into the system. That's about the lag period before you see any traction," Santoli said. "So we've had many, many announcements, many, many plans and policies. We don't yet know which of them are going to work."