For the last two years, America's job-creation machine has been like “The Little Engine That Could,” chugging ahead with "I think I can, I think I can" regardless of headwinds at home or abroad.
The nation added 3 million jobs in 2014, making up all the ground lost in the Great Recession, and then piled on another 2.7 million jobs last year. All while the broader economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at a relatively lackluster pace.
But the January jobs report, released Friday, suggests that the ever-dependable locomotive for the U.S. economy has encountered a hill that slowed it sharply.
The question now is whether it is just...