Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in February

The American economy gained 313,000 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 223,000 jobs. That’s a terrific number, and it was generated entirely by increased employment: 653,000 people entered the labor force and the employment-population ratio increased from 60.1 percent to 60.4 percent. The headline unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent. There’s nothing not to like here.

Wages of production and nonsupervisory workers were up an annualized 3.4 percent compared to inflation of 2.1 percent. That’s not bad, though it’s suprisingly modest considering the strength of the jobs report. It just goes to show that there are still a fair number of discouraged workers in reserve who are now entering the labor force because employers are getting desperate to find people. This reserve pool is most likely keeping wages subdued even though the economy is doing very nicely.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. 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'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.