Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in May

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The American economy added 138,000 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 48,000 jobs. That’s pretty weak, but the headline unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 4.3 percent anyway. This was mainly because a whopping 608,000 people left the labor force, not because there were more people working. In fact, the number of employed workers declined by 233,000 last month and the labor participation rate declined by 0.2 percent.

Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of 1.7 percent. Inflation is currently running at about 2.2 percent, so this represents a decline of about 0.5 percent. Yuck. Whatever progress we had been making toward higher wages for blue-collar workers has pretty much collapsed over the past few months.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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