Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in November


The American economy added 203,000 new jobs in November, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 113,000. This is slightly better than the rate we’ve seen all year, but only slightly. We’re plowing ahead, but not really making up lost ground from the Great Recession.

Comparisons with October are tricky, since that was the month of the government shutdown. However, compared to September, the labor force shrank by 265,000 and the labor force participation rate declined from 63.2 percent to 63.0 percent, while the number of unemployed shrank by 348,000. That produced a drop in the headline unemployment rate to 7.0%. However, some of that was due to the shrinking labor force, so it’s only partially good news.

So….it’s sort of a Groundhog Day jobs report. The good news is that job growth is steady despite the sequester and other austerity measures. The bad news is that people are still dropping out of the labor force in significant numbers, and we aren’t really seeing any acceleration in the job market. We’re still treading water.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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