The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March, the Bereau of Labor Statistics reported this morning, as the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent.
Of those job gains, 48,000 were from Census workers who had been hired temporarily.
In addition, the numbers for the previous two months were revised to show improvement, with 14,000 jobs gained in January (earlier estimate was a loss of 26,000), and 14,000 lost in February (earlier estimate was a loss of 36,000).
There were 1 million discouraged workers in June, who have given up looking for work and thus are not included in the unemployment rate.
When combining those who have settled for part-time work, the broader unemployment rate crept up to 16.9 percent.
In a typical economy, this would be considered a weak report, but given how poor the labor market has been, the White House can still claim still progress relative to where we were.