Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

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The American economy added 236,000 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 146,000 jobs. That’s not bad. The headline unemployment number went down to 7.7 percent, also not bad.

On a slightly less cheery note, the December jobs number was revised upward by 24,000 jobs but the January number was revised downward by 38,000 jobs. In addition, February’s low unemployment number was partly due to a declining labor participation rate, which continued its long slide from a high of 67.3 percent in 2000 to 63.5 percent last month.

In other words, mixed news, though generally better than in the past year. But we haven’t yet seen the effects of the sequester. That’s likely to have a noticeable and negative impact on new job creation over the next six months. Fasten your seat belts.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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