In the previous post, we talked about the new monthly jobs report, but in keeping with tradition, here’s a slightly different chart — one showing just the private sector job market.

Overall, the U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs, but as has been the case for a long while, the most noticeable gap is between the public and private sectors. Businesses added 137,000 jobs in September, while 34,000 jobs were lost in the public sector at the same time, thanks to budget cuts at the state and local level.

Those are, by the way, budget cuts Republicans are desperate to expand, making the jobs landscape worse on purpose, while President Obama’s American Jobs Act seeks to do the opposite.

While 137,000 private-sector jobs is hardly cause for celebration, the totals do offer at least mild hints of progress. The figure exceeded expectations; it was more than triple the previous month’s totals; and it does not point in a recessionary direction. For that matter, the revised private-sector totals from July and August were both revised upwards, which was also encouraging.

Over the last year, the U.S. private sector has now added 1.77 million jobs.

We still need to do much better than this, but given dire predictions about a jobs picture that seemed likely to deteriorate further, it’s at least good to see a slight turnaround in the right direction, even if it was modest.

And with that, here’s a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector 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.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.