I’m confused.

The media assured me during the 2012 presidential campaign that the economy was getting better.

So what’s this dismal jobs report doing on my desk?

The unemployment rate actually remains steady at 7.8 percent, but given that we’ve just seen the holiday season, which traditionally requires lots of temporary hiring, this looks really bad.

If you look inside the report, the picture is bleaker:

The retail sector and government reduced employment. Average hourly wages rose 7 cents, or 0.3%, to $23.73 while theaverage workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.

Glad the government reduced employment a smidgen, but what do you bet the president will find a way to stop attrition in this cosseted sector?

Note: The full-time, 40-hour hour week seems not to be part of ObamaWorld. I guess he's helping the middle class to enjoy more unpaid leisure time?

Unemployment rose for women and African-Americans in December. CNS News reports:

Unemployment for women rose to 7.3 percent in December from 7.0 percent while the rate for African-Americans rose sharply to 14.0 percent from 13.2 percent in November.

I thought it was the Republicans who were supposed to be waging a war on women—but is there any greater harm than job loss?

The Obama policies are counterproductive if it’s jobs you want. The president’s heart is elsewhere: in the expansion of government. Charles Krauthammer makes this point this morning.

What this means is that any improvement in the hiring picture will be despite and not because of the president.