How to convince voters that while the economy isn't roaring, the situation is still improving?
That's President Obama's challenge, made more difficult with every passing month where the jobs report disappoints, as on Friday. The latest Labor Department report informed us that only 69,000 jobs were created in May, less than half what analysts had forecast. Meanwhile, the jobless rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.
Another piece of data to fit into a confusing employment jigsaw puzzle: this time, it's advertising for new jobs – U.S. companies in March posted the highest number of those in four years.
The Labor Department says some 3.74 million job openings were advertised for the month, the most since July 2008, about six months after the recession officially began but still just ahead of the financial meltdown.
What does it mean?
If you're an optimist, it means employers are feeling a bit more "robust" about the economy and want to add workers.