Mike Smith, of Long Beach, Calif., now pays $200 for his family's health insurance policy, compared with the $3,000 a month he would have had to pay on the individual market last year. Stephanie O'Neill for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Stephanie O'Neill for NPR

Kiara Crawford, Brittney Winkler and Jessyca Freeman (left to right) were among those applying for work last month at a job fair in Washington, D.C. Early data from that month signal that job growth may have gained some speed. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sign of the times? A "help wanted" sign in the window of a Philadelphia business last year. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Rourke/AP