Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in May

Thursday is evil dex day, which means I’ve been up all night. And you’re the winner! The BLS releases jobs numbers at 8:30 am, but I’m on the West Coast and I don’t roll out of bed until several hours after that. That means my take is usually dated before I even put it up. But not today: I’m awake and ready to give you the fresh take you need to start your day. Here we go:

The American economy gained 223,000 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 133,000 jobs. The headline unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, but unlike last month this wasn’t due to people dropping out of the labor force. It was almost entirely due to lots of people getting jobs.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up at an annualized rate of 3.9 percent. With overall inflation running at about 2.4 percent, that’s a significant increase.

This is a very strong jobs report and it makes up for the disappointing April report. Our economic expansion appears to still be on track.

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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