The usually excellent David Leonhardt appears to have confused himself. The job report was dismal taking its establishment and CPS components together.
Yet Leonhardt writes:
A Dreadful, Yet Encouraging, Jobs Report: By any objective standard, this morning’s jobs report was terrible. But it was also pretty encouraging...
Ummm... I'm speechless. It is not pretty encouraging.
Leonhardt goes on:
Job losses have now been slowing for three straight months.... [T]his morning’s news was, all things considered, reason for optimism. The economy shed 539,000 jobs last month — down from 699,000 in March, 681,000 in February and 741,000 in January. Before February, job losses had accelerated for six straight months.... Even the increase in the unemployment rate, to 8.9 percent from 8.5 percent, wasn’t as bad as it sounds. It was nearly all a shift of people from... not working and not looking for a job to official unemployment....
All in all, this was one of the worst jobs reports in the last 30 years. The monthly job loss was larger than in any month during the either the 2001 or 1990-91 recessions.... The job market is in its worst condition since the early 1980s, and it will still be getting worse for months to come.
It’s just not getting worse at an accelerating rate anymore, and that’s often a sign of better days ahead. We’ll take what little good news we can get these days.