Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The American economy added 235,000 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 145,000 jobs—nearly all of it in the private sector. The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.7 percent. That’s not bad, and behind the scenes the news was even more positive. The labor force participation rate ticked up to 63 percent; the number of unemployed dropped by 107,000; 176,000 people joined the labor force; and the ranks of the employed went up by nearly half a million.

But how about wages? Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of about 2.3 percent. That’s about even with the inflation rate last month, which means the real increase was close to zero. That’s disappointing given recent signs that wages were starting to make gains.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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