Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

The American economy gained 313,000 jobs last month. We need 90,000 new jobs just to keep up with population growth, which means that net job growth clocked in at 223,000 jobs. That’s a terrific number, and it was generated entirely by increased employment: 653,000 people entered the labor force and the employment-population ratio increased from 60.1 percent to 60.4 percent. The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent. There’s nothing not to like here.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up an annualized 3.4 percent compared to inflation of 2.1 percent. That’s not bad, though it’s suprisingly modest considering the strength of the jobs report. It just goes to show that there are still a fair number of discouraged workers in reserve who are now entering the labor force because employers are getting desperate to find people. This reserve pool is most likely keeping wages subdued even though the economy is doing very nicely.

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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