Don’t you just love the ambiguity of jobs reports?
For every two parts Dr. Jekyll there are two parts Mr. Hyde.
For every definitely-be-a-pony-under-the-tree sense of optimism there is a matching hanging tree sense of pessimism.
Take today’s latest installment of job numbers, please!
The labor force grew by 120,000 in March, somewhat further evidence that we no longer are stuck in the horror show of a screaming employment crisis.
But, and there always is a but, the improvement was less emphatic than the previous three months when jobs grew in excess of 200,00 each month.
The 8.2 percent unemployment rate also is nothing to email home about unless you need money from mom and dad. And there are some among us who are convinced that the rate actually exceeds 14 percent.
Of course, everything these days has political overtones.
March’s numbers aren’t low enough to scrawl graffiti on the Democratic narrative that good times are beginning to rock and roll like the Stones back in the day.
But not high enough to hijack the Republican narrative that President Obama couldn’t fix the broken economy even with a brand new Craftsman tool set.
So this jobs reports won’t spoil all the fun on the campaign trail.