It's typically considered indecent wonk etiquette to get too excited about any one jobs report, for at least three reasons: (1) It's just one month; (2) The numbers will be revised; (3) They're only statistically significant plus or minus ~100,000 jobs, anyway.
With that caveat out of the way: Woo hoo, let's get excited about this jobs report!
The numbers everybody will talk about are 236,000 jobs added and 7.7 percent unemployment. But that's not why you should get excited. The first number is a pretty good number. The second number is a bad number. Unemployment is still quite high, although it's coming down slowly, by about 190,000 jobs per month over the last three months.
Before we get to the exciting stuff, here's the context: Private sector job creation emerged from its cave in early 2010 and it's been recovering fairly strongly for the last three years. State and local government austerity -- soon to be joined, perhaps, by federal government austerity -- has kept monthly job creation a little lower, around 160,000 jobs per month.
Zooming in, you can see that this month (the far right bar) was one of the best months yet for private sector jobs, but not the best. So why do I consider this the most optimistic jobs report of the recovery?