Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in August

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 66,000 jobs. That’s pretty anemic, but August usually tends to be sort of an anemic month for job growth. The headline unemployment rate ticked back up slightly to 4.4 percent, all of it for bad reasons: the number of employed people declined and the number of unemployed people increased. But there was good news for some: the unemployment rate for high school dropout plummeted from 6.9 percent to 6.0 percent.

Hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees went up at an annual rate of 2.3 percent. Considering that inflation has been running around 0 percent all year, that’s not too bad.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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