Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in September


The American economy added 248,000 new jobs in September, but about 90,000 of those jobs were needed just to keep up with population growth, so net job growth clocked in at 158,000. That’s not bad. The headline unemployment rate ticked down to 5.9 percent, due to a combination of more employment and more people dropping out of the labor force. However, the labor force participation rate stayed about the same as last month, so this jobs report isn’t primarily about people giving up on looking for work. It’s basically good news.

Overall, this is a much better report than last month’s, and to add to the good news, the BLS revised upward the July and August reports by a combined total of 69,000 jobs. The economy still isn’t booming, but the past six months are starting to look pretty solid. More people are working and hiring rates are up. Hopefully this will produce some wage gains too in the near future.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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