It's starting to look like the former is true. The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, which is almost exactly what experts predicted. The overall unemployment rate inched lower to 5.4%, the lowest it's been since May 2008.
The revisions were a mixed bag. February's job totals were revised up, from 264,000 to 266,000, while March's totals turned out to be even worse, dropping from 126,000 to 85,000.
All told, the U.S. has added 2.98 million jobs over the last 12 months. April was the 55th consecutive month of positive job growth -- the best stretch since 1939 -- and the 62nd consecutive month in which we've seen private-sector job growth, which is the longest on record.
Above you'll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction -- red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Second Update: One more, this time showing the unemployment rate in the Obama era: