Good Jobs News in April

I may be generally pessimistic about the economy, but we did get a good jobs report today. It wasn’t just census hiring either. It was legitimately strong private sector job growth. The unemployment rate rose at the same time — and as the CBPP chart on the right suggests, this means we’re probably in for a long, slow, grueling, recovery — but Eric Lascelles of TD Securities explains why a rising unemployment rate isn’t entirely a bad thing:

The household survey argued for an even better 550,000 job gain in April, but the number of people looking for jobs rose by an even larger 805,000. As such, the unemployment rate went up. However, the interpretation can be spun in a positive direction since job applicants must be feeling good to seek entry to the labour force in such large numbers.

Steve Benen’s employment chart is below. On the less bright side, long-term unemployment increased and wage growth was flat. The latter is obviously normal during the early stages of a recovery, but still, it needs to change if consumer spending is going to keep fueling growth. Overall, though, the report was good news. I’m still sort of pessimistic, but then again, I’m always sort of pessimistic.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.