Today the Department of Labor revealed that the unemployment rate for September 2010 remained stable at 9.6 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 95,000 jobs and the government sector lost 159,000 jobs but private sector employment added 64,000 new jobs.

These numbers are fairly similar to August 2010 when the unemployment rate was also 9.6 percent. This months decline in government jobs isn't entirely due to temporary Census 2010 jobs coming to an end, however. Part of the job loss is due to a decline in employment in local government. On the private sector front, the 64,000 new jobs added are a bit less than the 67,000 new jobs added the month prior.

The rest of the report nearly mirrors August numbers: there are still nearly 15 million unemployed Americans and more than 40 percent have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. Marginally attached workers edged up by 100,000 to 2.5 million with 1.2 million considered discouraged workers.

This is 503,000 more discouraged workers than we had during the same time period last year. Although the recession may have officially ended more than a year ago, 15 million Americans would likely disagree with economists. However, we may be doing better than we think.

Rick Newman blogged about the end of the Great Recession for U.S. News and World Report:

"Jobs usually take a while to return once a recession has officially ended, and this time obviously is no different. The surprising thing is that in one way, the job market today is bouncing back faster than it did after prior recessions. The total level of employment bottomed out in December 2009, according to the NBER—just six months after the recession ended. After the recession that ended in November 2001, it took 21 months for employment to drift down to its low point and turn upward again. That might signal that we're doing better now than during the 'jobless recovery' that followed the 2001 recession."

So it may not feel like it if you're one of the millions of unemployed or it may not look like it if you're reading the jobless reports but the nation may actually be on the right track with our economic recovery. What do you think?