WHEN ARE 120,000 new jobs a disappointing occurrence? It is when you are expecting -- and needing -- more.
That was the number of jobs added by the nation's employers in March, according to the Labor Department. While a 120,000 jobs spike sounds impressive, it pales in comparison to projections, as economists were calling for more in the line of 210,000.
Another misleading piece of the monthly report was a .1 drop in the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent. The miniscule dip was linked to one disturbing factor -- many Americans stopped looking for work.
Giving up hope for landing employment is a sad state of affairs. It is polar opposite to the American Dream.
What strikes another disparaging chord is that the depressing numbers came during what is basically seen as an upswing in the nation's economy. Now such a notion is cast in doubt.
President Barack Obama must have cast a wary eye at the Labor Department's latest report. His re-election bid will be dictated, in large part, on how healthy the recovery process is playing out.
March's monthly report does little to enhance his attempt for four more years in the Oval Office. Nor does the spiraling-out-of-control gas prices.
Economists, however, see March as merely as a speed bump. They place blame on seasonal factors.
Time will tell us which is more accurate.
The answer will also go a long way in determining whether Barack Obama will continue to reside in the White House.