Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs In January

The American economy gained 200,000 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 110,000 jobs. That’s OK but not great. The employment-population ratio stayed flat yet again, and the headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent. The absolute number of unemployed workers went up by 108,000, which is not great news, and 153,000 workers dropped out of the labor force—also not great news.

Overall, this report strikes me as a little weaker than the topline number suggests, but still decent.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up 2.4 percent. That’s only slightly above inflation, so we’re back to sluggish wage growth after a single month of good news.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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