So the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor reports a gain of 162,000 (down from an estimated 190,000 expected). And it's only the second monthly job gain since late 2007. The "gain" is not enough to lower the headline unemployment rate (9.7%).
But government statistics are often manipulated and overly bullish. Gallup finds an underemployment rate of 20.3% (http://www.gallup.com/poll/127091/Underemployment-Rises-March.aspx) and John Williams' shadowstats unemployment is 22%. (http://www.shadowstats.com/)
ADP's report on private payrolls showed that employers slashed 23,000 jobs (when the consensus prediction was a gain of 40,000). (http://www.adpemploymentreport.com/pdf/FINAL_Report_March_10.pdf)
There is still considerable weakness among private employment (and full-time positions in particular). And now that Obamacare burdens employers with employees working over 30 hours a week, fewer positions will be full-time positions. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/how-the-health-care-law-affects-your-business/
An additional 200,000 Americans are called "marginally attached to the labor force" by the BLS. "They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey."
"Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged workers in March, up by 309,000 from a year earlier."
48,000 of the jobs "gained" were temporary positions for the US Census.
40,000 of the jobs "gained" were for temporary help services.
These 88,000 temporary positions are more than half of the "gains".
Another 27,000 jobs were in healthcare.
So if you want a full-time position in a field other than healthcare or government, the pickings are still rather slim. And the competition is growing as more graduates and immigrants enter the labor force.
There are now more "discouraged workers" and Americans "marginally attached to the labor force" despite the optimistic spin surrounding the latest employment report. This is not time for Democrats to be declaring "mission accomplished."