Is this the picture of a rebounding job market?

Editorial

According to The Wall Street Journal, online job postings at the beginning of this month were up 2 million over their year-ago levels. That's nearly twice as high as at the depths of the Great Recession, just before Warren Buffett crunched the data at his Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries and declared the recession over. Citing a need for skilled technical employees, the Journal notes that there's considerable hiring under way at AT&T (NYSE: T), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), and WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) -- but not just there.

Since construction, manufacturing, and farming jobs tend to be underrepresented online, additional hiring in these industries could mean that the jobs market is even more robust than the picture above reflects. Indeed, in recent months, we've noted how a rise in the demand for industrial and precious metals has inspired hires of pickaxe-swingers at mining giants Freeport-McMoran (NYSE: FCX) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) as well.

Associated Press, your first source in parade-raining
Yet despite all this good news, AP chose this week to play the demagogue and pose the question: "Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring?" Citing the examples of Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and UPS (NYSE: UPS) doing respectively "more than half" their hiring in foreign countries, and "hiring at a faster clip" abroad than here at home, AP argued Tuesday that because growth prospects seem stronger internationally than here in the U.S., a lot of U.S. companies are doing their hiring elsewhere.

AP's story was calculated to stoke the ire of the unemployed and grab reader eyeballs. And yet, when viewed in conjunction with yesterday's lower-than-anticipated weekly unemployment claims number (388,000, according to the Labor Department), it seems AP was actually brewing a tempest in a proverbial teapot.

Foolish takeaway
The numbers don't lie: Whatever a few individual companies are doing internationally, the employment picture really does appear to be improving here in the U.S. Maybe 2011 really will be the year in which we start getting our jobs back. If so ... it's about dang time.

Or at least, that's what today's chart looks like to me. Do you see something different? Take the Foolish Rorschach test, and tell us about it below.

WellPoint is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. United Parcel Service is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation and The Fool owns shares of United Parcel Service.

Fool contributor Rich Smith is not a licensed economist, but he plays one on the Web. Check out his latest stock recommendations on Motley Fool CAPS. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.