(NECN/NBC: Tracie Potts) - Dismal is how economists are likely to describe Friday's new job numbers.
While the unemployment rate barely budged in March, there was a big drop in new jobs that were created.
There was barely any change in the jobless rate.
It dropped slightly to 7.6 percent.
But if you're looking for a job, only 88-thousand were created in March.
There were three times that many new jobs in February.
These numbers for the most part aren't believed to include "sequestration" budget cuts.
With 50-thousand layoffs announced but not yet happening, the real impact of Washington's big budget cuts may still be unknown.
"We have imposed hiring freezes and halted many important but nonessential activities. However, we will have to do more," said Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
Most furloughs and layoffs from those cuts don't start until this month, so it could be may or even June before we see the effect on unemployment.
Bottom line: the economy's middle-of-the-road right now.
Stocks, foreclosures, household wealth, and retail sales have bounced back but housing, auto sales and industrial output are still struggling.
And so are millions of American workers.