Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in April

The American economy gained 164,000 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 a so-so 74,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent, but this was entirely due to people dropping out of the labor force. The number of employed workers stayed exactly the same and the employment-population ratio dropped slightly. Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up 2.8 percent. That’s a little higher than the rate of inflation, so blue-collar workers saw a bit of a pay increase last month.

This was a pretty weak jobs report. Blue collar wages rose decently, but the drop in the unemployment rate is illusory, generated not by more people working but by more people dropping out of the labor force. The number of new jobs was OK, but nothing to write home about. The whole thing was very meh.


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

payment methods

We Recommend