Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in March

The American economy gained 196,000 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 106,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent.

Behind the headline number, the number of people in the labor force dropped by 369,000 and the number of employed people dropped by 201,000. The labor participation rate dropped from 63.2 percent to 63 percent, losing its recent gains and continuing its long-term record of flatness since 2016. These aren’t great numbers, especially after such a weak February report.

Earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers increased at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in March. With inflation running at about 1.5 percent lately, this means blue collar workers saw an increase of 1.7 percent at an annualized rate. That’s not bad.

Overall, this is a mediocre jobs report. The top line number is sort of average, but the underlying numbers are pretty weak, especially since we’d normally expect a bigger rebound after February’s poor report. It’s not a reason to panic, perhaps, but it’s hardly great news, either. Time for a rate cut?


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.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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