It's an important milestone because it means that the job market has finally recovered from the financial crisis of 2007-08. But it also masks a big political problem for Democrats: The recovery has been weak, slow and incomplete.
The unemployment rate, steady at 6.7 percent, still remains higher than it was before the November 2008 election that brought President Obama to power. Even though the economy is adding jobs -- 192,000 in March, slightly below expectations -- the labor force participation rate is still low at 63.2 percent.
What does all this mean? Obama and the Democrats are likely to say things are getting better. But for many voters, they're not. That's why the Democrats are pushing measures like an extension of unemployment insurance and raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Those measures are likely to further drag on the economy with higher taxes, more government spending and more lost jobs, but they can also buy a lot of Democratic votes.
The Republicans, meanwhile, have a spending plan that offers to balance the budget in 10 years, reform entitlements and simplify taxes. But this plan has no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate and opens them up to political attacks on the details.
The question for November is whether the GOP can take advantage of the Democrats' economy problem and block the Obama administration's efforts to play Santa Claus without looking like Scrooge to most Americans.
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
Columnist/Philip Klein: Obama's victory lap obscures signs of rising health spending
Columnist/Byron York: Democrats squawk as cracks form in immigration coalition
Columnist/Shikha Dalmia: Who will recall defective bureaucrats?
Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Mozilla CEO forced to resign
Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: Labor secretary cites inaccurate data from his own agency
Beltway Confidential/Tim Carney: Big business and big government vs. good beer
PennAve/Zack Colman: Nuclear disposal agreement could bring Russia, U.S. to negotiating table
Watchdog/Mark Flatten: Congressional leaders call for ouster of VA executives
Legal Newsline/Staff: Braley to rub shoulders with New York trial lawyers
In other news
Washington Post: A violent end after a quiet life
Weekly Standard: What's the alternative to Obamacare?
American Thinker: Brendan Eich and the new American totalitarian state
National Review: John Kerry's folly
New Republic: In defense of liberal bed-wetting
The Atlantic: How anti-Jewish jokes hurt Palestinians
Legal Insurrection: Democrats and the hypocrisy of campaign finance reform