Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in May

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The American economy added 138,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. This means that net job growth clocked in at 48,000 jobs. That’s pretty weak, but the headline unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 4.3 percent anyway. This was mainly because a whopping 608,000 people left the labor force, not because there were more people working. In fact, the number of employed workers declined by 233,000 last month and the labor participation rate declined by 0.2 percent.

Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of 1.7 percent. Inflation is currently running at about 2.2 percent, so this represents a decline of about 0.5 percent. Yuck. Whatever progress we had been making toward higher wages for blue-collar workers has pretty much collapsed over the past few months.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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