The American economy added 175,000 new jobs last month, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 85,000. That’s about the same as last month: OK, but not great. The headline unemployment number increased from 7.5 percent to 7.6 percent (actually from 7.51 percent to 7.56 percent) thanks to a small increase in the number of people who rejoined the labor force and are looking for work.
Once again, the fiscal cliff deal and the sequester don’t seem to be showing up in the job numbers yet—though public sector employment was flat and federal employment was down, which might be partly due to cutbacks. In any case, the changes aren’t huge. So far, it looks like we’re continuing to tread water.