We'll learn today how many jobs were destroyed by employers in May.
But, to use the jargon of Wall Street, even if the number "beats estimates," let's not get too excited.
It's probably recession/bailout fatigue, but I've run out of patience for the economic spin doctors from both extremes - the doom and gloomers as well as the sunny optimists.
Already this week, I've heard chief investment officers and economists calling for a "four- or five-handle" on the employment report. That's financial news show-speak for a monthly loss of jobs of 400,000 to 500,000.
Such a report would be promising, the optimists say, because it shows the job market is getting "less bad." After all, the worst month for job loss stands as January, when U.S. employers shed 741,000 workers.
But when the job market has turned from a comfy warm tub to a scalding cauldron of acid, wonky discussions about the temperature seem to miss the point:
It's a lousy job market, and it's going to stay bad for some time to come.
Yes, 500,000 is a smaller figure than 700,000. Forgive me if I save the champagne for the month when employers are creating jobs again.
Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the United States has lost 5.7 million jobs. Pick any survey of forecasters you want and none predicts job creation beginning before 2010. Think deep into 2010.
For the 132 million of us counted in non-farm payroll statistics, that's worrisome. For the 13.7 million unemployed identified in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' household survey, that's downright depressing.
The economists at IHS Global Insight are among the more optimistic. They project a decline in payroll employment of 450,000 in May. "In normal circumstances a decline of 450,000 jobs would be seen as very bad news," IHS said in a recent note.
Their point is these are not normal times, so coming after the loss of 539,000 jobs in April, 699,000 jobs in March and 681,000 in February, IHS views a four-handle as "clear improvement."
What's clear to me is that we have a lot of pain to endure before we harvest Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's "green shoots."