In April, the overall economy added 244,000 jobs, but 24,000 Americans working in the public sector left the workforce, as state and local governments continued to cut spending. The private sector, however, added 268,000 jobs, marking the 14th consecutive month of private-sector growth.
More important that the streak, however, is the data. The 268,000 total not only beat expectations, it's a genuinely good number. We're accustomed to dealing with relative encouragement -- results that are only heartening because of the larger, awful context. But a month in which 268,000 private-sector jobs were created is actually quite strong regardless of context.