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?

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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