Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in December

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The American economy added 156,000 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 ho-hum 66,000 jobs—nearly all of it in the private sector. The headline unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent. Overall, it was sort of a blah showing, with 60,000 people finding new jobs and 120,000 people added to the unemployment rolls. The labor force participation rate stayed steady.

But there was also some good news: hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of slightly more than 4 percent. That’s excellent, and suggests that the labor market is starting to firm up. If the Fed doesn’t get too antsy about this, it could mean that 2017 will see some pretty decent wage growth.

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THE BIG PICTURE

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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