Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in December

The American economy gained 148,000 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 58,000 jobs. That’s pretty weak. The employment-population ratio stayed flat yet again, and the headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent.

I added a trend line this month because the general trajectory of the jobs report is pretty clear these days: after peaking at the start of 2015, job growth has been on a slow but steady downward trend. At the current rate, net job growth will be close to zero by the end of the year. Alternatively, of course, it’s possible that the trendline will change. Maybe the tax cut will produce a temporary sugar high. Or maybe a recession will start and job growth will crater.

On the bright side, wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up 3.9 percent. That’s a net gain of about 1.7 percent after accounting for inflation. It would be good news indeed if we could keep this up for a while.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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