President Barack Obama speaks at 1776, a hub for tech startups, Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite five months of steady job growth and a six-year low in unemployment, liberals and conservatives still find reason to despair and point fingers over the state of the economy.

It is a function both of election-year politics and the honest perceptions by many Americans that the recovery has yet to improve their lives.

Even President Barack Obama, who would be eager to take credit for an economy on the mend, felt compelled to throw in a dampening caveat as he drew attention to the 288,000 jobs created in June, to the lower 6.1 percent unemployment rate and to the fastest job growth since 1999.

To be sure, there are real economic reasons to be wary, or at least not euphoric, over the most recent report.