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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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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