Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in December

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The American economy added 155,000 new jobs last month, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth was closer to 65,000 jobs. This was about the same as November. The headline unemployment number remained steady at 7.8 percent, the same as November’s revised estimate.

For reasons that remain obscure—and might just be a coincidence—the American economy is now in its third straight years of growing modestly except during the summer, when it stagnates for a few months. As a result, I’d say we’re now living in the worst of all possible worlds: growth isn’t high enough to really kick the economy into high gear, but it’s not low enough to scare Congress into doing something serious about it. Instead, they just obsess over the deficit. That might be appropriate if we were consistently adding 200,000 net new jobs a month, but it’s just plain dumb right now.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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