Misery loves com­pany: If you lose power in a storm, you hope that the whole area lost power with you, because the utility will work hard to restore elec­tricity when many people are affected. It’s a little bit like that with unem­ploy­ment: It’s not good to be the only one around without a job, because you’re easily for­gotten in the gen­eral prosperity.

That’s why today’s jobs report is a mixed blessing for the long-​​term unem­ployed. The ADP Research Insti­tute said that pri­vate employers added 175,000 jobs in Jan­uary, a respectable gain given the harsh winter. “There’s a lot of uncer­tainty on the weather effect, but the broader mes­sage from ADP is that the trend in pri­vate pay­rolls remains pretty solid,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. econ­o­mist at High Fre­quency Eco­nomics in Val­halla, N.Y., told Bloomberg News.

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