Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs In January

The American economy gained 200,000 jobs last month. We need 90,000 new jobs just to keep up with population growth, which means that net job growth clocked in at 110,000 jobs. That’s OK but not great. The employment-population ratio stayed flat yet again, and the headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent. The absolute number of unemployed workers went up by 108,000, which is not great news, and 153,000 workers dropped out of the labor force—also not great news.

Overall, this report strikes me as a little weaker than the topline number suggests, but still decent.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up 2.4 percent. That’s only slightly above inflation, so we’re back to sluggish wage growth after a single month of good news.