The private sector has been adding jobs -- not enough, but some -- since early in 2010.
The public sector -- the government -- has been laying people off. You can see the pattern clearly in the chart above, which stops before today's report. Today we saw more of the same, with the private sector adding 154,000 jobs, and government and school layoffs washing out nearly a third of that gain.
Steve Benen notes that regardless of what Republicans leaders say about today's news, this is exactly what they want to see happen. "Under the GOP economic model, the public sector is supposed to lose jobs, and as part of the party's austerity agenda, this is a problem that must get worse on purpose," he writes.
Over at Patchwork Nation, Dante Chinni tracks the effects of the spending cuts included in the deal to save America from defaulting on its debt. He sees trouble ahead especially for small towns and rural areas where government jobs are a significant share of the economy. "It's tough in rural America," Dick Anderson, a mayor in Lincoln County, Oregon, tells him. "There aren't a lot of choices when an industry goes bad."