Recent job gains and record highs in the stock market are signs that the U.S. economy is strengthening, leading many economists to believe job growth will continue into 2014.
"If we could maintain a 3 percent–plus pace next year … I'm thinking so far we have in the second half of this year ... then yes, jobs prospects for everyone should improve," said Joseph A. LaVorgna, managing director and chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities.
The job outlook should come as welcome news to millions of unemployed Americans as well as underemployed part-time workers who possess the skills to have higher-quality jobs and want to work full-time.
Yet there's a catch: Adding jobs isn't as big an economic driver as adding "quality" jobs.
With November's jobs report, the economy has added 2.1 million jobs this year. But nearly half have been in relatively low-wage sectors like retail, leisure and hospitality. These part-time, low-wage positions become important when analyzing the "underemployment rate"—a broader measure of joblessness that includes people who work part-time and people whose skills are not being fully utilized.
(Read more: Companies facing uphill battles in 2014)
Fry guy no more
The good news is that many economists believe not only that job growth will increase in 2014 but that there will also be an uptick in better-quality, higher-paying jobs.
"What we do expect is that the recovery will shift gears … and as it does, we will see more of the better-quality jobs," said Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director for Moody's Analytics.
"If we do see stronger manufacturing conditions, if we do see a stronger housing market, exports, that suggests ... we see the types of jobs shifting from these low-paid part-time jobs that characterized the economy for the past couple of years into the better-quality, full-time jobs," Koropeckyj said.