Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs for January


The American economy added 113,000 new jobs in January, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 23,000. That’s two consecutive months of dismal job growth numbers.

On the bright side, the headline unemployment rate declined from 6.7 percent to 6.6 percent, and this wasn’t just a matter of people dropping out of the labor force. The number of employed persons was up over 600,000 and the labor force participation ratio ticked up a couple of tenths.

As always, though, the unemployment numbers come from the household survey, while the job growth number comes from the payroll survey, which is much larger and thus more reliable. The employment numbers hint that things might be better than we think, but it’s only a hint. Overall, this is a very weak jobs report, and coming on the heels of a weak December report, they suggest that the American economy is still pretty fragile.

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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