Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in July


The American economy added 162,000 new jobs last month, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 72,000. That’s about the same as last month. In fact, it’s about the same as every month for the past year: OK, but not great. The headline unemployment number declined to 7.4 percent, mostly due to more people getting jobs, but partly due to more people dropping out of the labor force.

There’s really not much else to say. There are no big stories here about any particular industry, or about government employment, or anything else. Wages are flat, as they have been for the past couple of years. We’re just stuck treading water: The economy isn’t in horrible shape, but neither is it showing any signs of accelerating into a genuine recovery. Or, to put it another way: the economy isn’t bad enough to persuade Republicans to do something about it, but neither is it good enough to be producing lots of new jobs on its own. As always, we need to keep on hoping that nothing catastrophic happens in China or Europe or anywhere else, because right now we’re not in good enough shape to ride it out.

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

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