According to the "establishment survey" of places that hire, the economy added more jobs than predicted: just over 100,000. More significantly, the last two months' numbers were revised upward by another 100,000 or so.
Yet when we turn to the "household survey" of actual people, the headline unemployment rate remains unchanged at 9.1 percent. How come?
The numbers suggest that the working-age population (16 and over) grew by 200,000 last month, and another 200,000 people rejoined the workforce - that is, are back looking for work. The household survey also shows that 400,000 more Americans were employed this month than last. So it's a wash.
Disturbingly, our U-7 number actually went UP. How so? Because -- and here's the bad news in this month's numbers -- the total number of workers toiling part-time, but looking for FULL-time work, jumped by 400,000, about 5 percent. Since "part-time for economic reasons" are included in our U-7, the number rose from 18.26 percent to 18.41 percent, the third highest month since we inaugurated U-7 back in December.