Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in December


The American economy added 292,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. This means that net job growth clocked in at a brisk 202,000 jobs—nearly all of it in the private sector. The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.0 percent. This is a pretty strong showing, and it was all good news. Nearly 300,000 people re-entered the labor force and the participation rate ticked up a bit. This strong jobs report was due entirely to people finding jobs, not to people dropping out of the labor force.

Disappointingly, this didn’t produce much wage growth. Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of about 1 percent. For the year, earnings were up 2.4 percent—OK but not great. Job growth at the level of the last few months isn’t spectacular, but it’s pretty strong, and it should start translating into wage gains soon if it keeps up.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.